1. #1
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    Default Family finally will bury FDNY hero

    A funeral for Brooklyn Firefighter Michael Ragusa will be held Sept. 8, 2003 — making him the last of the 343 firefighters killed in the World Trade Center attack to have a service in his memory.
    Like more than 1,000 other families, Ragusa's loved ones waited for two years for the medical examiner to call and say remains of the 29-year-old firefighter from Engine 279 in Red Hook had been identified. But unlike other families, the Ragusas decided not to hold any kind of service until that call came.

    It never did.

    "You come to realize you cannot do this to yourself forever — this could go on for years," Michael's mother, Dee Ragusa, said yesterday. "He's gone."
    Instead of remains, the Ragusas will bury a vial of Michael's blood, which he had donated to a bone marrow center. A coffin containing the blood will be lowered into the ground at Staten Island's Resurrection Cemetery, next to where his friend and fellow 9/11 victim, Firefighter Carl Molinaro, is buried.
    "I dread it," Dee said of the burial, which will follow a funeral at St. Bernard's Church in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, where Michael was born and raised. A wake will be held the day before.
    "I could have lived the rest of my life never having to bury any of my children," she said. "But my son deserves to be laid to rest. ... It's only a vial of blood, but to us ... it's Michael."
    The Ragusas watched as, within the first months after the attacks, the families of other victims held services.
    "We marveled at people that rushed into memorials before they even had a body," Dee said. "Michael was too full of life to think of him as dead so quickly."
    Some wondered why the Ragusas were waiting. But it's a personal decision, she said, one that's different for each family.
    Dee always knew she would feel when the time was right to bury her son. That moment struck her on the way home from the wedding of her youngest son in July, when she turned to her husband, Vincent, and said, "Honey, it's time."
    Given the way he died, Dee was happier in the end that pieces of Michael, the son "who would bug you to death but you could never get mad at him," weren't identified. "I don't think I could handle that, either," she said.
    Dee wanted to hold the service before the two-year anniversary of the attacks, and next weekend was the only one that worked.
    The anniversary shouldn't be any more difficult than the rest of the year, said Dee, who spent last Sept. 11 holding an impromptu memorial for Michael, and all the other victims, at her home.
    She doesn't plan to visit Ground Zero this year, either. His memory is all over her house, she said, down to sneakers that still sit in front of her washroom.
    "My son isn't there," she said of the Trade Center site. "My son is here."
    Still, the funeral for Michael will be a "full-blown service," with representatives from the FDNY and Mayor Bloomberg's office expected.
    Her husband "said my son deserves what everybody else got," she said.
    The Ragusas are the second firefighter family to bury a vial of blood. A vial from 22-year-old Firefighter Michael Cammarata, the youngest FDNY victim of the terror attacks, was buried in June.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    May FF Michael Ragusa rest in Peace. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


    Tanker
    I.A.C.O.J. Firefighter/EMT-B

    "I'm gonna drill a hole in your skull and pump out all the stupidity"
    Gunny Ermey


    "Never underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"


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    Very poignant and moving. Thank you Ray for sharing with us.

    May Michael now Rest in Peace.

    NEVER FORGET.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Ditto.... God Bless all the members of FDNY and their families! AMEN
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Amen. May he rest in piece with the rest of the heroic brothers of the FDNY.

    FyredUp

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    Michael Ragusa
    Firefighter
    Assigned to Engine 250
    on rotation to Engine 279
    WAKE AND FUNERAL SERVICE
    FOR FF MICHAEL P. RAGUSA

    A Wake and Funeral Service will be offered to honor the memory of Firefighter Michael P. Ragusa of Engine Company 279, who made the supreme sacrifice on September 11, 2001.

    Details are:

    Wake:
    McManus Funeral Home, 4601 Ave N
    Date: Sunday September 7, 2003
    Viewing Hours: 2:00pm to 4:30pm and 7:00pm to 9:00pm

    Funeral:
    St. Bernards Church, 2055 East 69th Street, Brooklyn
    Date: Monday September 8, 2003
    Time: 9:30am

    All off duty members and their families are invited to attend

    MAP
    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 09-03-2003 at 08:27 AM.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    Our thoughts and sympathy go out to his family.
    He never will be forgotten.

    Belgian Navy firefighting squad
    *The BOSS rules*

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    May this bring peace and closure to his family and the knowledge that he will live on in their hearts. Rest in peace brother.

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    His Funeral is Monday the 8th of September 2003
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    Line of Duty Funeral Monday the 8th of September 2003"My son isn't there," she said of the Trade Center site. "My son is here." Still, the funeral for Michael will be a "full-blown service," with representatives from the FDNY and Mayor Bloomberg's office expected.
    Her husband "said my son deserves what everybody else got," she said.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    Default peace be with the families

    May you rest in peace my brother, in the insureance
    that you will never be forgotten.

    May god bring peace to all the families of that
    who lost someone on that horrific day.
    Gods Speed to our Troops!

    If you can't stand the heat, Get out of my way !!!
    MEMBER OF I.A.C.O.J.

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    Gone but not forgotten...Rest in peace brother.
    TW

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    Default Remember Michael Ragusa and Brothers

    On that day LODD
    Engine 279 FDNY
    Ronnie Henderson
    Michael Ragusa
    Anthonie Rodriquez

    Ladder / Tower 131 FDNY
    Christian Regenhard

    Pray for our brothers.
    -----------------------------------
    More about Michael..
    http://www.fallenbrothers.com/commun...s=&forumid=326
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by neildonahue; 09-08-2003 at 02:53 PM.

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    Rest in Peace...
    IACOJ

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    Farewell for WTC firefighter, last of 343 to have ceremony

    Mike: 'One is too many, 343 is almost too much to bear'


    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    A vial of Michael Ragusa’s blood was placed in a coffin and taken to his funeral on a firetruck Monday as the fallen hero became the last World Trade Center firefighter to be memorialized.
    Mayor Bloomberg, Fire Commissioner Michael Scoppetta, former Mayor Giuliani and over ten thousand firefighters in dress uniform saluted the firetruck as it made its way to the Church of St. Bernard, in the Bergen Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn where Ragusa was born and raised.
    The truck was followed by a limousine with members of Ragusa’s family: father Vincent, mother Dee, two brothers, one sister and fiance Jennifer Trapani.
    The 29-year-old’s remains have never been identified, so his family decided to bury a vial of blood that Ragusa had donated to a bone marrow center.
    Inside the packed 500-seat sanctuary, Bloomberg referred to Ragusa’s funeral as being the last memorial for any of the 343 firefighters who perished in the terrorist attack.
    “One is too many — 343 is almost too much to bear,” he said.
    Giuliani, who received loud applause as he got up to speak, reflected on the number of funerals he attended for firefighters when he was mayor.
    “I remember them in the rain, in the snow, sometimes 12 funerals a day, but (the fire department) gave each member a service and the honor they deserved.”
    Scoppetta spoke directly to the Ragusa family, saying: “It’s not in the natural order of things for a child to predecease his parents, and so we know that our grief doesn’t measure against yours.”
    On Sunday, hundreds of family members, friends and colleagues gathered at a funeral home to pay their respects at Ragusa’s wake.
    Many families of the 343 firefighters killed Sept. 11, 2001, held services even when remains were not found for their loved ones, but Ragusa’s family delayed an official ceremony until now.
    “It was a very personal decision for the family,” said Gerry Sweeney, of Ladder Co. 131, who was the fire department’s liaison with the family. “They really didn’t want to go through a memorial service and then hear that a piece of Michael had been recovered and have to go through it again, but I guess they’d figured enough time had passed.”
    Of the 2,792 people who died in the attack, the medical examiner has identified remains of just over half.
    Ragusa was described by many as a fun-loving guy who loved work and had a penchant for cars and softball. Photos around the viewing room at a funeral home in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn showed Ragusa in many lights — smiling as a child, hugging his girlfriend, driving his car and fighting a fire.
    Dozens of firefighters in formal dress and others in work attire who had taken a break from their shifts passed through to offer the family their condolences and pay their respects.
    Sweeney said the service provided some sense of relief to many firefighters who had attended scores of funerals and memorials for their friends and co-workers.
    “For a lot of us who have dealt with all these wakes and the funerals, this closes some sort of a chapter, for the whole department,” he said.
    Ragusa was a firefighter with Engine Co. 279, in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    Rest in peace Firefighter Michael.
    May God bring peace to the FDNY and their families.

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    I took a vacation day today, and me and 4 other guys from my job headed down and over to Brooklyn this morning. It was a vacation day well-spent. What a tremendous turnout for the final 9-11 hero. FDNY, you guys did the job and the brotherhood proud. I'm not ashamed to say I shed a tear as the pipes band about-faced and passed by the assembled uniformed personnel in a final, uplifting tribute once the procession had left for the cemetary. The thunderous applause that went up as the cry of "Detail, dismissed" was made over the loudspeakers made the hair on my neck stand up. That, plus the children clapping along from the school windows across from the church was really moving. Anyways, in closing.....FDNY, and brothers and sisters everywhere, be careful and stay safe.
    Leroy140 (yes, THAT Leroy)
    Fairfield, CT, Local 1426
    IACOJ Tillerman

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    I want to thank you lieutleroy140 and all my Brothers and Sisters from all over the World for your support over the past 2 years.
    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 09-09-2003 at 08:05 AM.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    CEREMONY
    Vial of Blood Is Laid to Rest as Fire Dept. Salutes Firefighter
    By PAUL von ZIELBAUER


    Under yesterday's clear late-summer sky, flanked by thousands of firefighters frozen in white-gloved salute, nine men in dress blue uniforms slowly pulled a wooden casket from a fire truck and carried the box containing what remained of their final lost comrade into St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church.
    Inside the coffin lay no body in repose, only one finger-size vial of Michael Paul Ragusa's blood, given years ago to a bone-marrow clinic in one of the many selfless acts that his family and friends say characterized Firefighter Ragusa's 29 brief years.
    Firefighter Ragusa, of Engine Company 279, yesterday became the last of the 343 firefighters killed in the aftermath of World Trade Center terrorist attack to be officially memorialized. In a way, the small vial, unseen and encased in wood, seemed to capture the ambivalence his uniformed comrades held in their hearts about this final funeral for a 9/11 firefighter: It was all there was, but it was hardly enough.
    Though every bit as impressive and sorrowful as the 342 previous official commemorations of Fire Department employees killed that day, Firefighter Ragusa's funeral service in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, offered small but noticeable signs that perhaps now the healing of the department could begin uninterrupted.
    "Definitely, the funeral service does provide some sort of closure, and it also provides the beginning of moving forward," James Long, a firefighter with Ladder Company 16, said of Firefighter Ragusa's funeral. "Never forgetting, but starting to move forward."
    Along with the small clutch of family and the blocklong legions of uniformed men and women who saw Michael Ragusa memorialized yesterday were Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, each of whom spoke to the crowd inside the church.
    Mr. Bloomberg, speaking almost too softly for the lectern's microphone to pick up his words, said Firefighter Ragusa, like his comrades killed on Sept. 11, had made New York City a safer place. But he also urged mourners to move beyond grief.
    "For the people of New York, this is a cathartic moment, a chance to honor the final member of a group of heroes whose actions gave our city the strength to rebuild after 9/11."
    Mr. Giuliani also seemed to grasp an opportunity to heal the wounds suffered during an incomparably bitter chapter in New York City history that began on a similarly bright and deceptively peaceful September morning.
    "They saved the spirit of America that day," Mr. Giuliani, speaking during a brief eulogy directly to Mr. Ragusa's family in the first rows, said about the firefighters and police officers who evacuated the twin towers after the attacks. "If they hadn't deliberately made the decision to put their lives at risk," Mr. Giuliani said, "then maybe the terrorists might have achieved their goal."
    Toward the end of his remarks, Mr. Giuliani added: "If Michael were here today, he would tell you to live on, keep the family together, to make sure that these children grow up to have even better lives than we have, or that he had."
    Nicholas Scoppetta, the city fire commissioner, also spoke briefly. "The memory of 9/11 runs like a scar though this department," he said, adding that Firefighter Ragusa's funeral was "a small but significant step in our healing."
    Maybe the clearest signal that Firefighter Ragusa's funeral was a proper point for the Fire Department to shed some of its collective grief, however, came from his mother, Dee Ragusa, who spoke in a clear, bold voice about her son.
    "A little of our son lives in each and every one of you," she told the crowd, with her husband, Vincent, and two grandsons at her side. She read a January 2001 entry from the daily journal that her son, a probationary firefighter, was required to keep, in which he documented the news that a colleague elsewhere in the city had died fighting a fire.
    "It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies," Firefighter Ragusa wrote, "especially when he is young and had everything to live for."
    Firefighter Ragusa also left behind two brothers, a sister and a fiancée, Jennifer Trapani, who, among others, wrote some of their favorite memories in a booklet printed with photos recalling Michael Ragusa's life.

    Yesterday's commemoration gave the Fire Department a chance to return to some small but significant pre-9/11 routines.
    Perhaps the most obvious was the change in the music performed by the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, which turned out to play in his honor, as they have at every other service for a firefighter killed on Sept. 11. But for the first time since Sept. 11, the corps ended with "Garry Owen" and "Atholl Highlander," two up-tempo marches meant to recall a sense of hope.

    "When 9/11 happened, we decided we would suspend that till we played for the last brother," Lt. Liam Flaherty, 38, the band's drum major, said of the two songs. Now, he said, they are appropriate.
    Not everyone is prepared to return to normal, however. Particularly the firefighters who knew Mr. Ragusa as an energetic, dependable young man eager to prove himself in the department.
    "It's not going to be the last memorial service for a firefighter killed in the line of duty," said Bob Fulco, 53, a 25-year firefighter who knew Mr. Ragusa from his probationary tour at a Borough Park engine company in 2000. "As far as closure," he said, walking away from St. Bernard Church yesterday, "you can always turn the page, but you will never close the book."
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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