Brothers whose dad died »


On a brilliant Tuesday morning 19 years ago, terrorists turned business airliners into weapons of mass destruction. Thousands of lives had been misplaced instantly.

As folks ran from the hazard on the World Trade Center, first responders bumped into it. Roughly half of New York City’s fireplace models rushed to decrease Manhattan to assist, and 343 firefighters had been killed. 

Fifteen males from Engine 54, stationed about 4 miles north of the World Trade Center, had been amongst those that died. Leonard Ragaglia was a type of 15 males from Engine 54. Now, his sons, Leonard Jr. and Anthony, are two of greater than a dozen current FDNY academy graduates who’re kids of fallen 9/11 heroes. They are weeks away from finishing their probationary interval.

Leonard now works in Engine 54, the place the roll name from September 11, 2001 continues to be on the wall. 

“Everybody passed away that day,” Leonard informed “CBS This Morning” co-host Tony Dokoupil. 

Asked why the roll name continues to be on show on the firehouse, Leonard stated, “like they always say, you know, you never forget. You always — you have that memory of how great those guys were.”

Recalling that morning, Leonard stated he remembers his grandmother selecting him up from college. He was 10 years previous on the time.

“We went home. And, they eventually had said, ‘Your dad is missing. We’re looking for him,’” he stated. “Everyone’s just sitting around, watching the TV, … waiting by the phone, hoping for the best.”

Leonard Ragaglia, Sr. was simply 36 years previous. Asked how their dad would have felt seeing his sons in FDNY uniforms, Leonard stated, “I think he would have felt very proud of it.”

“Extremely proud,” Anthony stated. 

Their dad died “doing what he loved to do: help people,” Leonard stated.

“And that’s the reason why I chose this job. And I have the honor and privilege of working in the same firehouse that he worked in, the same company. So it really means a lot to me.”

Anthony stated he all the time admired his dad and what he did. 

“And then I think, as I matured and as the time went on, year after year, it became more and more of something I wanted to do,” he stated about turning into a firefighter.

Leonard remembers visiting his dad on the firehouse and stated it nonetheless “looks the same.” 

“I even have the honor of working with a few guys that worked with my dad. They still work in this firehouse today,” he stated.

They share humorous tales about his dad with him. 

“They said, you know, he was the biggest guy in the house. So that when he would go work out in the gym, the next guy’s workout would be taking all his weights off,” Leonard stated. “So, you know, even if we’re cooking a meal in the kitchen, they’d be like, ‘Oh, your father would have put two sticks of butter, not just one.’”

Anthony, who was 7 years previous on 9/11, is now a part of Engine 217 in Brooklyn. 

“Even though I’m in a different borough, different house and stuff like that, just knowing that I do what he did, it really brings me a long way and helps me every day to do what I love to do,” he stated.

At the firehouse, calls will be heard coming in.  

“Do you ever think that the next call could be a call like the one your father went to?” Dokoupil requested Leonard.

“You always have the chance of that happening, but just as he did, I’d be ready to go. And I’d feel honored doing it, knowing that that was what he was doing that day. So I’d feel honored,” Leonard stated.

Asked how he hopes America remembers 9/11, Leonard stated, “I just hope that any of the memorials or stuff that they do every year never goes away.”

“It’s something that can’t be pushed to the side,” he stated. “Everybody needs to know what happened that day. The tragedy and the guys that gave their lives need to be remembered.”

“They always say, ‘We will never forget,’” Anthony stated. “And it should be something that is instilled years and years later, no matter how much time passes, because I think the event itself shows you the danger of … what they really go through every day and what can happen on any day.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here