by MARIA ALVAREZ
William “Bill” Quick is finally at rest at FDNY headquarters, where he and dozens more firefighters who survived rescue and recovery work at Ground Zero but not the deadly diseases that followed are remembered.
The FDNY Memorial Wall dedication Thursday at the department’s Brooklyn headquarters honors members who died as result of their work for months at the World Trade Center site, where fumes emitted from the smoky pit have been blamed for cancers and other diseases among first responders.
“This is the final resting place. . . . Bill’s name placed on this plaque is the highest honor he has received,” wife Lisa Quick of East Atlantic Beach said after Thursday’s dedication ceremony at the MetroTech Center.
“My kids, who are away at school and could not be here, said: ‘Dad is finally in the place he needed to be — here with his family,’ ” said Quick, whose twin children Ryan and William Quick are 21 and attending college. They wrote text messages to their mother after she sent them photographs of the ceremony via her cellphone. Hundreds of firefighters and EMS workers toiled on the pile around the clock trying to recover remains and personal possessions of victims.
Msgr. John Delendick, the department’s chaplain, paid tribute to the men and women killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, saying they “never had a proper burial” and that the FDNY mission to return the bodies and possessions to families caused even more to “become victims themselves.”
Thirteen names were added to the wall-size bronze plaque in the headquarters’ main lobby. A total of 89 names now are on the plaque. It was unveiled on the day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with 55 names already engraved.
It hangs across from a memorial wall with the names of the 343 firefighters killed in the collapse of the Twin Towers after entering the 101-story skyscrapers to rescue people trapped inside. Nearly 3,000 people perished that day.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro held back tears when he brought everyone back to the day of the attacks. “I vividly remember being there that morning and not knowing in those first days that it would be the most painful time,” he said.
The FDNY 9/11 mantra, “We Will Never Forget,” is what helped Quick and her family “get through this.”
Bill Quick was 55 when he died in 2011 after battling lung disease that forced him to retire in 2003. “He’s in a better place,” his widow said. “He does not have to suffer anymore.”