Every day, 92-year-old Navy veteran Rudy Meisenheimer wears a gold medallion with badge number 4745 inscribed across the FDNY emblem in memory of his son Raymond Meisenheimer, a 46-year-old firefighter who was killed on duty on Sept. 11. When a Brookdale Senior Living employee asked Meisenheimer, a resident of the Baltimore senior living community, about his medallion, he explained its significance and his longtime wish to pay his respects at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
Inspired by his story, the employee entered Meisenheimer for a Wish of a Lifetime, a national organization that fulfills seniors’ wishes. After successfully completing the application process, Brookdale Senior Living and Wish of a Lifetime partnered together and granted his wish.
On Oct. 7, 2015, Meisenheimer visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum with his family. During his tour, he recounted how his son served along side him as a volunteer at East Farmington Volunteer Fire Department in New York before being hired as a firefighter with FDNY Rescue Company 3 in Bronx, New York. Raymond Meisenheimer served for 20 years and was planning to retire two months after Sept. 11 to spend more time with his family.
"He was a good boy," Rudy Meisenheimer said. "He always supported his family, his wife and kids."
After spending hours at the museum, Rudy Meisenheimer was moved by his experience. “Everything that [I’ve seen] is special. It’s unbelievable. I may never see it again, but I have the memory now,” he said.
By 9/11 Memorial Staff
To learn more about Raymond Meisenheimer, listen to the audio clips narrated by his co-worker and friend, Timothy Brown, below.