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TimesLedger Newspapers 9/11 Commemorative Issue

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  • A TimesLedger speciAL secTion sepTember 8-14, 2011

    NeverForget

  • 9/11

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    WE WILL NEVER FORGET

    Cord Meyer Development Company

    Remembering 9/11/01

    stmaryskids.org

    29-01 216th Street, Bayside, NY 11360

  • 9/11 TimesLedger, sepT. 8-14, 2011

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    By Ivan PereIra

    For three Broad Channel FDNY brethren, their call to help with the first response efforts at the World Trade Center was so strong that they would not let anything, even Jamaica Bay, stop them from their duty.

    On that day 10 years ago, Dan Mundy, 73, his younger brother Tom, 63, and his neighbor John Henglein, 50, were all in the neigh-borhood when the first tower was hit and they could see the damage on the horizon.

    Although they were in dif-ferent spots when they heard the news, the men knew the city was in trouble.

    As soon as that plane hit, I was sure that we were at war, Dan Mundy said.

    Tom Mundy said he was vot-ing in the Tuesday primary at a

    nearby public school, so he im-mediately rushed home and be-gan the drive to his Engine Co. 36 firehouse in Harlem, but the traf-fic was too heavy and he turned back. On his way back to Broad Channel, he got an idea and called Dan, who had recently pur-chased a motor boat, and asked if he could use it to get to the World Trade Center.

    Dan Mundy, a retired fire-fighter, was already thinking the same thing and agreed, but he wanted to bring more men to the site. He called Henglein at Lad-der Co. 142 in Ozone Park around the time that the father of three learned that the first tower had collapsed.

    I still remember it going down, and boom, and I got on my knees, because I knew we lost at least a hundred guys, Henglein recalled.

    Henglein immediately ac-cepted Dan Mundys offer be-cause at that point the FDNY was taking Queens members to the Trade Center on buses from LaGuardia Airport, and he knew that he could not get there quickly

    enough. Henglein, who has been with the Bravest for 25 years, brought three of his stationhouse comrades with him as well as equipment and less than an hour later, Dan Mundy was ready to set course for downtown Manhattan

    on Jamaica Bay.Although Dan Mundy, a

    member of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers, had been sailing around those waters for decades, the 45-minute trip was difficult to navigate.

    The smoke was so thick and I couldnt see anything, but I could see the buoys and was able to make it, he said.

    During the trip one of the fighters was having cold feet, but Dan Mundy kept driving the boat and getting closer to Ground Zero.

    In Lower Manhattan, the group unloaded their supplies onto the John J. Harvey, a former

    Continued on Page 41

    Firefighters rode on Jamaica Bay to Ground ZeroAs towers burned, Queens Bravest rushed to scene in thick smoke on boat from Howard Beach

    John Henglein, (l.-r.) Dan Mundy and Mundys brother Tom trav-eled to the World Trade Center on Mundys boat (pictured).

    Photo by Christina Santucci

    Dan Mundy holds a photo taken from his boat en route to Ground Zero on 9/11. Photo by Christina Santucci

  • 9/11

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    By Joe anuta

    Wilton Sekzer has an excellent memory.

    He can recall entire conversations he had de-cades ago when he was a gritty NYPD cop. He can convincingly re-enact the time he barked orders at a couple of green officers or the time he was reprimand-ed for yelling at a cadets mother on the phone.

    He is a raconteur whose whole life is com-posed of narratives, some overlap and run into oth-ers, but they all start out the same way: Heres a story for ya.

    But that memory can also be a curse.

    Sekzer remembers in vivid detail the moment the No. 7 train he was riding on through Queens curved northward the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. As the Man-hattan skyline slowly came into view he saw the smol-dering World Trade Center towers where his son, Ja-son Sekzer, worked at Can-tor Fitzgerald, a worldwide bond-trading company that lost 638 employees in the at-tacks.

    Now I know that Ja-son works on the 105th floor, and I know the tower is 110 floors high, he said, recounting the thoughts that raced through his head as he stared out of the train window with all of the other passengers. For whatever reason, I take my thumb and start counting down the floors.

    Jason worked above where the plane hit, Sekzer thought, so hopefully he made it to the roof.

    And as suddenly as the towers appeared, the No. 7 train curved back to its westward path and the hor-rifying scene vanished.

    Sekzer later watched news reports and saw the towers fall.

    By evening he knew enough time had elapsed for Jason to make it home on foot.

    Sekzer can recall the day so completely it is al-most like he relives it.

    But he has a wealth of

    happy memories to draw from as well. When he speaks of Jason, the tough cop and Vietnam vet turns into the doting father.

    In a recent interview Sekzer put on his read-ing glasses and shuffled through pictures of Jason. By the smile on Sekzers face it was clear he had re-wound his memory once again and was back in his sons childhood.

    I tell people that God blessed me with one of the greatest sons anybody could have. Why he took him? I dont know, Sekzer said. Im looking forward to dying so I can ask him why.

    Jason was brought up in the Sunnyside apart-ment where Sekzer and his wife still live.

    When he was a boy, he used to live by his fathers word.

    He died at 31 years of age, Sekzer said. In 31 years, I never once raised my hand or voice to him.

    What makes the at-tacks such a bitter moment for Sekzer is that his son had led the kind of model life that makes fathers like himself proud. Jason had a kind heart and worked hard, and it got him far.

    When he was younger, Jason used to cook at an up-state camp for underprivi-

    leged kids.He used to say, I can

    cook for 600 kids, but I cant cook for two, Sekzer re-called with a chuckle.

    Sekzer got his son a job taking care of businesses and people who rented suites at Madison Square Garden. One of his clients was Cantor Fitzgerald. The management liked Ja-sons service so much they offered him a job at their World Trade Center offices.

    Jason worked his way up and was promoted sev-eral times, which made his father swell with pride at each phone call.

    Now you know what you have to do, Sekzer told

    his son after his first pro-motion. You have to send me business cards so I can shove it in the face of all my friends. And then you have to find me a nice nursing home.

    Jason was made vice president of IT trade sup-port for the company, and just months before the at-tack he married his long-time girlfriend Natasha.

    The night of Sept. 10 a message left on the cou-ples answering machine informed them that their wedding album was ready.

    Jason never saw it.

    Sekzer risked his life in the Army and the NYPD and witnessed all sorts of hardships. But nothing pre-pared him for that morning train ride.

    I cannot believe that Im the other guy, Sekzer said, shaking his head. My whole life it always hap-pened to the other guy ... unless you have kids, there is no way you could under-stand.

    Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

    A photo sent to Wilton Sekzer from a member of the U.S. Army. As a memorial, soldiers wrote the name of Sekzers son on bombs that were deployed in Iraq. Photo by Christina Santucci

    Sunnyside police officers dreams died on 105th floor

    Jason Sekzer was made vice president of IT trade support at Cantor Fitzgerald a few months before he died. Photo by Christina Santucci

    Wilton Sekzer holds a photo of his son Jason, who was killed on 9/11.

    Photo by Christina Santucci

  • 9/11 TimesLedger, sepT. 8-14, 2011

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    By Connor adams sheets

    On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Whitestone FDNY veteran Eugene Kelty was off duty, playing golf with his brother James and two Fire Department friends at an annual fund-raiser at the Douglaston Park Golf Course.

    We were on the sec-ond hole when my brothers pager went off and it said plane hit World Trade Cen-ter, he said. He called the Fire Operations Center and they said it was a jet that hit Tower One. We were on the golf cart and we could see the World Trade Center and the smoke coming out.

    Kelty, who was captain of Engine 10 in downtown Manhattan at the time, and his three comrades piled into their vehicles and speeded straight to Man-hattan, zooming through the Queens Midtown Tun-nel, which had been cleared of civilian traffic.

    Engine 10 is located in the famed Tenhouse, the closest firehouse to the World Trade Center, at 124 Liberty St., and Kelty said he and his brother made it there after the second tow-er was hit but before either one came down.

    They were in a win-dowless room on the houses second floor changing out of their golf duds when they heard an ominous sound and went downstairs.

    We heard the rum-bling and thought it was another plane hitting the building, but it was Tower Two coming down, Kelty said. It reminded me of what they said about Mt. St. Helenas with all the ash blowing everywhere. We didnt know what hap-pened. With the magnitude of the building, we didnt know what to expect.

    Tenhouse was quickly transformed into a make-shift base for many first responders since it was the

    only firehouse in the area with a generator and run-ning water. Kelty and his crew worked long shifts at Ground Zero until early November, when they took the