Eighteen years after firefighters rushed to the World Trade Center, some of their children are joining the New York Fire Department.
Thirteen probationary members set to graduate Sept. 24 from the FDNY Academy are children of firefighters who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in lower Manhattan, according to The New York Post.
The class includes two sets of siblings: two sons of one fallen firefighter, and the son and daughter of another. The class also includes the son of a New York police officer who died on 9/11, and the sons of two firefighters who died due to illness related to that day, The Post reports.
"Bravery runs in these extraordinary families who have sacrificed so much for our city. I'm proud of the commitment these probies have already demonstrated to the department and look forward to celebrating with them at their graduation," Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told The Post.
Heloiza Asaro is "very proud" that her son, Marc, 25, and daughter, Rebecca, 27, are joining siblings Matthew Asaro, 30, and Carl, 31, in the FDNY, she told The Post.
"Being that they are the youngest, I'm more concerned. They wanted to honor their father, to help people like he did. Even if he hadn't died, they would have become firefighters. Since they were little kids, the fireman was Santa Claus. The fireman organized the picnics."
Carl Asaro was 39 at the time of his death and a father of six who spent his 14-year career at Midtown's Engine 54/Ladder 4, which lost 15 men on 9/11, The Post reported.
Dennis J. Heedles Sr., 56, a 9/11 first responder who also worked in the recovery effort, died on Oct. 10, 2015, from complications of 9/11-linked lung cancer.
His son, Thomas, is now a probationary member of the FDNY.
"He wanted to be like his father and I'm very happy for him. I pray for him," Thomas' grandmother, Stella Heedles, told The Post.
"I'm very proud and I love him with all my heart. He's a good boy. … It's what he wanted to do and I'm so happy he made his goal."