FDNY Honors 12 More Firefighters Who Died of 9/11 Illnesses

CBS News

FDNY memorial wall (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

FDNY memorial wall (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Firefighter Lawrence Sullivan’s unit lost 11 men during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He spent countless hours digging through the debris at ground zero searching for their remains. He later succumbed himself to a 9/11-related illness.

“All he ever wanted to do was bring those bodies home,” Sullivan’s son, James, told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.

Lawrence Sullivan was among 12 firefighters whose names were added Friday to a memorial wall at FDNY headquarters in downtown Brooklyn honoring the firefighters who have died of illnesses believed to be related to working at ground zero. The latest additions bring the number of names on the wall, which was unveiled in 2011, to 76. “I don’t think people really realize that 9/11 is still affecting so many lives today,” James Sullivan said. “And the scary part is you look at the blank side of that wall; more names will be there soon. It’s inevitable.”

Tearful family members laid white roses under the bronze wall.

Christine Mongelli said her uncle, Michael Mongelli, who died in August 2012, was always too choked up to talk to family members about working on the pile at ground zero in the months after the attacks.

“Every time it was brought up, he cried right away, and he could never get the story out,” she said. “He was just very emotional about it. But I know he helped so many individuals out there.”

With their names on the wall, FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano said the firefighters’ sacrifices will be remembered for generations to come.

“The pride and determination with which they performed their duties will never fade,” Cassano said.

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