FDNY Sons Honor Lost Firefighter Fathers

A split image shows firefighter Frank Palombo, who died on 9/11, and his son Thomas Palombo, who is also an FDNY firefighter.
Left to right: Frank Palombo, who died on 9/11, and his son Thomas Palombo. Photo courtesy of the FDNY.

Two firefighters are honoring the legacy of their fathers who died in the line of duty just months apart, according to the New York Daily News.

Thomas Palombo, 24, and Harry Ford Jr., 27, were among the 310 probationary firefighters that graduated Tuesday in Brooklyn.

On June 17, 2001, Ford’s namesake was one of three firefighters who died from the Rescue 4 team in a burning warehouse in Astoria, Queens. The blaze became known as the Father’s Day Fire.

Three months later, Frank Palombo was called to the World Trade Center with Brooklyn unit, Ladder 105.

"I was in school. I remember my friend across the hall was like, ‘A plane just hit a building,’" Palombo told the Daily News. "I knew my dad was at work, but he was in Brooklyn so I thought there was no way."

The late Firefighter Harry S. Ford and his son Harry Ford Jr.

The late Firefighter Harry S. Ford (left) and his son Harry Ford Jr.

Both men have found strength through their training.

“It’s been a dream coming, meeting people that knew him, hearing how he was with them,” Ford said. “It’s really good to know these people are looking out for me ... It means everything to me, to be able to get through this and live up to the name.”

Palombo remembers his father’s firehouse taking care of him, his mother and nine other siblings.

"In the months leading after that ... all the firefighters from 105 and (Engine) 219 were coming to my house constantly. They were always there throwing the ball with us," Palombo said. "There was a brotherhood always there, cooking us dinner, taking care of us. They spent time away from their families to come to us."

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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