Trial By Fire

My Dudes

The 10 year anniversary of 9/11 is this Sunday, and there are thousands of heart-wrenching stories of bravery and loss that will be told. My hometown buddy Jason Cascone (pictured above) shared his memory of 9/11 with this week, and I am proud to post it here. Jay is a friend of mine who grew up in the same Highlands neighborhood of White Plains that I did, and anyone who knows him personally will tell you he’s one of the nicest and most genuine guys you will ever meet. Well, his first day on the job with FDNY was coincidentally 9/11, and in this account he tells all, from being given absolution by a priest on his ride downtown, to losing nine men from his firehouse (they were first responders), to the grueling shifts he worked at Ground Zero following the attack. And he unfolds the emotional struggles he’s been through since, and how he’s come to grips with the tragedy he witnessed his first day on the job as a New York City firefighter. Here’s the link…

Trial by Fire: I Was an FDNY Rookie on Sept. 11

I’d like to add that the picture above was in a special publication by LIFE Magazine years ago titled Faces of Ground Zero: Portraits of the Heroes of September 11, 2001, and I remember being in the bookstore and seeing it before anyone told me about it and being really proud to see him in there. It was one of the first pictures in the book, and it was a full page shot. Anyway, ten years later, the photographer who took the picture did a short interview with Jay. Here it is…

Salute to Jay (who will be made a Captain this month) and the whole FDNY. And to everyone we lost in 9/11, we miss you and love you always. Never forget…

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