Thread: Sad but true

  1. #1
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    Red face Sad but true

    It's the FDNY's "dirty little secret."
    At least a dozen of New York's Bravest - some of them assigned to look after Sept. 11 widows - have left their wives for the spouses of their comrades killed in the terror attacks, sources told The Post.

    "It's disgusting, heartbreaking what they've done," said Mary Koenig, whose husband, Gerry Koenig of Staten Island's Rescue 5 squad, ditched her and their two kids for Madeline Bergin, the widow of his friend and firehouse mate, John Bergin, after the World Trade Center attacks.

    An insider who has worked with firefighter families and a counselor who worked for one of the FDNY services told The Post there are about a dozen cases similar to the Koenigs.

    FDNY spokesman David Billig would not comment on the figure. Another FDNY official told The Post, "It's a very sensitive topic."

    Koenig had been the Bergin family's "liaison" - a surrogate-parent role traditionally taken on by Bravest when a fellow firefighter is killed.

    Although "liaisons" are not officially designated, the role is part of an honored, unwritten pact going back more than 100 years.

    "Not only have these men dishonored their own families, they've dishonored the memories of men who are heroes, who were their brothers," Mary Koenig said. "It's the department's dirty little secret."

    When, after 9/11, the FDNY called in experts who'd dealt with the psychological fallout from the Oklahoma City bombings, they were told that some firefighters may start relationships with the widows.

    "The department saw this happening - knew from mental-health experts that it could happen - and did nothing to intervene," Mary Koenig said.

    Billig defended the department, noting that it has "done a tremendous amount" in terms of dealing with attack-related psychological issues, including family and marital problems, since Sept. 11, 2001.

    "We have been very proactive in developing solutions and encouraging our employees and their families to seek help," Billig said. "The topic of surviving firefighters not neglecting their own families after Sept. 11" was addressed shortly after the attacks. Among the FDNY initiatives was hiring 300 counselors, and developing programs "that matched every domestic situation we could think of," he added.

    Still, Kristin Zazulka, 18, said the system devastated her family. The teen complained to department officials after her dad, John Zazulka of Brooklyn's Squad 1, dumped her mom, Susan, and Kristin's three younger siblings for widow Debbie Amato, the wife of fallen squadmate, James Amato, and Amato's four kids.

    Zazulka, who did not return calls to The Post, has also become a deadbeat dad: He has twice been found in contempt of court by a Staten Island family court judge for failure to support his kids.

    In September 2002, the McKinsey report - the outside evaluation of the city's response to the WTC attacks - noted that the FDNY must improve and expand the support services offered to its members and families because it was not adequately equipped to deal with the ongoing ramifications of large-scale events.

    Koenig said that when her husband began to disassociate himself from his family, she made repeated entreaties to his captain to intervene. After speaking with both Madeline Bergin and Gerry Koenig, the captain ordered Gerry back to his own family.

    But the order didn't stick.

    Gerry Koenig declined to comment to The Post, saying only, "My life is private - it's not anybody else's business. I didn't leave my family. I left my wife."

    For the last several months, Mary Koenig has been on a one-woman campaign to get the FDNY to change its protocol regarding counseling after a catastrophic tragedy.

    She's written to FDNY brass and state and local lawmakers, calling for what she calls "The John Bergin Act." It would require FDNY brass to supervise the liaison program and to make counseling mandatory after large-scale events.

    "If a family comes forward with help with this kind of problem in the future, I want to know the department will be required to do something," she said. "It's too late for my family, but they can damn sure fix it for next time."

    Madeline Bergin declined to comment and Debbie Amato could not be located.

    My only comment to all of this is, it's not an FDNY's "dirty little secret."
    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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    I just don't understand!.. Maybe I should'nt try?

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    December 2, 2003 -- A powerful firefighters union boss says the FDNY outright ignored the "unquestionable certainty" that some firemen would ignore their own families and get "too close" to the widows and kids of their fallen Sept. 11 comrades.
    "From the get-go, the Fire Department acted irresponsibly," United Firefighters of America Manhattan trustee Rudy Sanfillipo told The Post.
    "We begged them to put counseling measures in place starting as soon those towers came down. We even offered to run it. And they ignored us."
    Sanfillipo's blistering words came in response to Monday's Post report about firefighters who - after acting as "liaisons" to families of firemen killed in the terror attacks - left their own wives and kids for their "adopted" families.
    "This was our main issue, that families would be torn apart," said Sanfillipo. "It was predictable. It's human nature. It's pathetic that the department took no action to minimize the damage."
    The union had run the liaison program for decades, until the FDNY took over after Sept. 11.
    Firemen were taken off the work chart to assist families of those killed, usually rotating the assignment. Ultimately, about 150 firemen acted as liaisons.
    Meanwhile, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol said he will introduce legislation in January requiring a revamp of FDNY support programs.
    Lentol (D-Brooklyn) is calling for mandatory counseling in certain situations, and wants the program to be run by independent agencies operating "outside the Fire Department's [insular] culture," said his chief of staff, Cathy Peake.
    The FDNY does not currently mandate counseling.
    Lentol was spurred to action by the case of Mary Koenig, whose firefighter husband, Gerry, left his family for the widow of one of his buddies.
    Koenig had been the bereaved family's liaison.
    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 Another Lying MUTT

    The gloves are off in New York. This is a lie and uncalled for.

    Feel free to express your true feelings toward this MUTT.
    Cartoons by Sean Delonas
    Delonas for Tuesday, December 2, 2003

    New York Post
    1211 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10036-8790
    Online Editorial:
    Chris Shaw: cshaw@nypost.com
    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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    Little bit of sensationalistic journalism going on, eh? #$%^ers.

    By the way, is this a mis-print, "United Firefighters of America" -- I thought it was Uniformed Firefighters Association, or was there a name change?

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    Thumbs down My outreach

    Ray I do not know what is going on up there and to what extent it is true. But these people's private lives need to stay off the front pages and let them move on. I am not taking anyone's side as I have had marital troubles myself in past years. I know how it is and I know that even under normal circumstances it is difficult.

    Here is what I sent to the idiot that produced that cartoon. It is only a small jab, but non the less an expression of my freedom of speach.

    It is bad enough that the events described have happend (if they in fact are true and as wide spread as indicated)....but I wonder if it is not just one or two disgruntled families that are using the situation to smear everyone. It is apparent by their own admission that they were having marital problems prior to 09-11.... So if you are going to report report the truth!!!However, my purpose in writing to you is to say that I think you are a 100% A&($OLE for publishing the cartoon you published. It is disgaceful and mars every firefighter that so bravely died on that day, not just the ones in question. You are a total jerk, a scumbag award seeking idiot. You are an embarrassment to the nation and the press.... You should draw a cartoon of yourself with your head stuck up your BUTT to your ankles. I say this because it is obvious that you have you head somewhere it does not belong!

    You owe the FDNY Firefighters including the families of the "343" a complete appology and a retraction of that dispicable picture!


    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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    Default FDNY rips Post's 9/11 cartoon

    New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
    Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003
    Fire Department brass and rank-and-file Bravest blasted the New York Post yesterday for a cartoon showing a firefighter telling a dying comrade at Ground Zero: "Goodbye dear friend. By the way, is your wife free Tuesday?"
    Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta sent the Post a letter calling the cartoon "tasteless," sources said.
    "Within the department, the feeling is widespread that the cartoon callously crosses any decent editorial boundaries to make light of this matter," the letter said.
    Peter Gorman, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said, "The Post has sunk to a new low of yellow journalism. What happened on 9/11 were the most horrific events in U.S. history and the aftermath and pain that followed are nothing to laugh about."
    Bronx firefighters sent faxes to all city firehouses telling them to call in complaints to the Post and boycott the paper.
    "We're totally outraged," said Firefighter Robert Conti, 50, of Engine 62/Ladder 32 in Norwood. "It's degrading to us."
    The cartoon, by regular cartoonist Sean Delonas, followed a Monday Post story about two firefighters who left their wives for the widows of colleagues lost in the terrorist attack.
    In the cartoon, the helmet of one firefighter bears the number 35. A dozen men from Ladder 35/Engine 40 on the upper West Side were killed on 9/11.
    Despite the outrage, the offending cartoon was still featured prominently on the Post's Web site last night. Calls to the newspaper for a response were not returned.
    Michele McPhee and Alice McQuillan
    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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    What a pathetic excuse for a newspaper cartoon...
    Last edited by WVFDCap; 12-03-2003 at 03:09 PM.

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    Angry

    My comments have been sent to the to New York MUTT kennel!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    I sent this Mutt explaining my feelings, and my distaste with his cartoon
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

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    The "artist" should be fired... This situation is another chapter in a tragedy that isn't going to be sorted out for GENERATIONS to come. I sincerely hope that things will get better for all of the families of the victims, the survivors and their families.

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    We are extremely dismayed by the Page Six cartoon (Dec. 2) depicting a dying firefighter during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, accompanied by a tasteless - and certainly not humorous - remark by another firefighter.
    This is especially insulting considering that the FDNY continues to mourn the 343 members of the department who gave their lives to save thousands of others.

    The story upon which the cartoon is based ("Bravest Betrayal," Dec. 1), explored some of the complicated emotional consequences that two of our firefighters and their families have faced since 9/11.

    Within the department, the feeling is widespread that the cartoon callously crosses any decent editorial boundaries to make light of this matter. Most disturbingly, it belittles the rescue and recovery efforts by thousands of firefighters to find survivors and the remains of the approximately 2,800 people who perished on our city's most tragic day.

    It is unfortunate that some find humor in this situation. It's even more disturbing that you have chosen to exploit the pain of these families and the memory of our fallen members on the pages of your newspaper.
    Nicholas Scoppetta
    Fire Commissioner
    FDNY
    Brooklyn

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    God Bless the first ammendment!
    God damn those who abuse it!

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    Amen, Artie, Amen!
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    The tasteless and gutless shot at the members of the FDNY was as uncalled for as anything I have ever seen. My feelings will be expressed appropriately.

    However, there is a very tellin gline in the Daily NEws article that you guys didn't comment on.
    Despite the outrage, the offending cartoon was still featured prominently on the Post's Web site last night. Calls to the newspaper for a response were not returned.
    If the Post were doing an expose article on a similar subject, and that subject refused to deal with them, they would be screaming. Now, they are circling the wagons. It would be a tiny bit better if their editor came out and at least showed a tiny bit of backbone.

    The next FDNY press conference ought to be a hoot, huh?

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    As I've stated before on these forums, this is just part of the "backlash" against firefighters that was bound to happen. This cartoon and the commentary by people like Doug Gantenbein are going to happen. The sacredness of 911/WTC is waning fast for everybody except for those involved in the emergency services business. Even a year ago, I don't think anyone would be dumb enough to print something like this, but now it's open season. Hopefully, we'll be able to keep the threats of bodily harm and other nastiness out of this one, proving that we ARE better people than the average Joe. I doubt it, though.

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    Default Counselors go to firehouse mocked by Post

    New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
    By MICHELE McPHEE
    and ALICE McQUILLAN
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
    Thursday, December 4th, 2003
    The FDNY sent counselors yesterday to a Manhattan firehouse depicted in a New York Post cartoon that mocked the Bravest killed in the terror attacks.
    In the Post cartoon, printed Tuesday, a firefighter with a "35" on his helmet tells a dying comrade at Ground Zero: "Goodbye dear friend. By the way, is your wife free Tuesday?"
    Counselors talked with firefighters at Ladder 35/Engine 40 on the upper West Side, which lost 12 men in the World Trade Center attacks.
    "We wanted to make sure the guys were all right," said an FDNY official. "That house lost its entire company on 9/11, and what the Post did with that cartoon is distasteful."
    "I think it's a disgrace," said Nancy Marra, mother of Firefighter Michael D'Auria, a 25-year-old probie from Ladder 35/Engine 40 who was killed on 9/11.
    "We need hope, we need people to help us up, not knock us down. ...A slur like that is only going to pound them down in the ground and give them another reason to be angry, upset and sad," she added.
    Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta has slammed the cartoon, and Stephen Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, sent a letter to the Post yesterday calling the cartoon "an absolute disgrace."
    "There is - and never will be - anything funny or lighthearted about the fact that 343 New York City firefighters lost their lives on 9/11," he wrote.
    The cartoon followed a Monday Post story about two firefighters who left their wives for the widows of colleagues lost in the terrorist attacks.
    Calls to the newspaper for a response were not immediately returned yesterday.


    With Soni Sangha
    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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    There isn't - and never will be - anything funny or lighthearted about the fact that 343 New York City firefighters lost their lives on 9/11. For The Post to lampoon the situation in a cartoon tied to a story about the personal lives of a handful of individuals is absolutely abhorrent.
    I am proud to be a New York City firefighter and take offense at your attempt to stain the blood, sweat and sacrifice made by tens of thousands of New York's Bravest over the last 100-plus years.
    Stephen J. Cassidy
    President, Uniformed Firefighters Association
    Manhattan
    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 how bout this'

    New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
    Victims' kin blast WTC video game
    By TRACY CONNOR
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Friday, December 5th, 2003

    A ghoulish Internet video game challenging players to shoot down passenger jets before they hit the twin towers is a huge hit - outraging families of Sept. 11 victims.
    "My daughter was on one of the planes," Tom Roger, father of slain American Airlines flight attendant Jean Roger, told the Daily News.

    "To think people are making it a game is pretty bizarre. But there are a lot of sick people out there," he said.

    The game, New York Defender, was launched on the French Web site Uzinagaz.com a month after terrorist hijackers attacked the World Trade Center.

    It has been played more than 1.5 million times since then, but is relatively unknown in the United States, the creators said.

    The game starts with a cartoon of the towers under a clear sky, which is suddenly invaded by a few planes.

    The player can shoot down the aircraft, but planes keep coming at a faster clip. After a few hit the buildings, the towers collapse in a cloud of dust.

    Jonathan Pitcher, the Parisian who runs Uzinagaz, insisted the game's purpose isn't to make sport of the slaughter of 2,752 people.

    "After the attacks, we felt there was nothing we could do. But with the game, you could pretend to defend the World Trade Center," he said.

    Yet he also said the game represented another philosophy - which would seem to undercut that stated purpose.

    "We wanted to show there isn't any way to win against terrorism. Because it doesn't matter how many planes you shoot. There are always new planes," he said.

    Patricia Reilly, a Staten Islander whose sister, Lorraine Lee, was killed on the 105th floor of Tower 2, doesn't buy that.

    "It's horrible," she said.

    "I think it further desensitizes us to the realities of this thing," she said. "I've seen some weird things in the last two years, but this is the first game."

    The crass pastime also turned stomachs at a state Assembly press conference to drum up support for a law targeting violent, sexually explicit video games.

    "Is that an outrage, or what?" said Assemblyman Robert Straniere (R-S.I.). "What warped mind would want to create such a video?"

    The state bill would require bold warning labels on video games that depict illegal acts and limit their sale to adults only. A similar bill has been filed at the city level by Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan).
    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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