Lt. John A. Crisci
September 11, 2001 is a day that lives in our hearts and minds. We all remember where we were that day and what we were doing. My husband had just started a new job in Canada and I was mopping floors before taking my sick child to the doctor. My husband called me with the news that the world as we knew it had changed in an instant. As deeply as this day affected Americans and indeed people around the world, the people most affected were those who lost loved ones on this day etched in our minds. As part of the 2,996 Memorial, I want to remember one of the people who left us that day.
John A. Crisci was a family man. Actually he had two families. John was first a husband, who for nearly thirty years loved his wife Rachael. Together they raised three fine upstanding boys, John Jr, Michael and Joseph. He was dedicated to his three sons, never pushing them but rather supporting them in all of their endeavors. The boys excelled in sports, school and behind them was their mother and father reinforcing the true value of competition, that friendship and fair play was the reward, not just winning. John wasnÂ’t into fancy vacations, he preferred sitting in his backyard swinging in the swing and drinking coffee.
When you think of John, see a man who loved his children and wife. A man who worked for everything and took nothing for granted. John and his brother, Leonard were born in Brooklyn in a three-room apartment that never had heat in the winter and was always hot in the summer. They lost their father when he passed away in 1968, John was only 15 then and just starting High School, yet he stayed in school and went on to college. JohnÂ’s belief in commitment and responsibility were displayed throughout his life.
Besides being a father, brother, son and husband, John was also a member of the New York Fire Department family for 23 years. John A. Crisci began his life in public service with the New York City Police Department, assigned to the 88th precinct and then the 114th precinct before becoming a NYC Firefighter.
In 1988, a major fire consumed a tenement in NYCÂ’s Harlem area. John was informed that a small child was missing and might be on the sixth floor. He raced into the building, up six flights of stairs, crawled through thick smoke and found the child. With his back to the flames, and the child in his arms, he exited the building down a fire escape to safety. He was honored by the NYC Fire Department with one of its highest awards. He shrugged this off with a typical Â“WhatÂ’s the big dealÂ” attitude that he always had.
John A. Crisci loved firefighting and was a rescue specialist and teacher. In 2001, he was working with the Hazardous Materials Company 1 in Maspeth, Queens. His shift was over on September 11, 2001 and he was on his way home when the first plane struck. Instead of going home, he changed back into his gear and jumped on a rig headed for lower Manhattan. Before entering the World Trade Center Tower, he saw a probationary firefighter with an orange shield on the scene. He said, Â“Go back to that truck and stay there, and donÂ’t move.Â” John saved that manÂ’s life. Unfortunately, John and 17 other members of the Haz-Mat Co. at Maspeth were lost when the towers collapsed.
John was a hero to his children, to his co-workers and to millions of people around the world. He put others lives before his own, and on the day the towers fell, he was doing what he believed in and what he was trained to do. John was not a man looking to make a name for himself. He was called to serve and to protect. He followed that calling willingly and with joy and conviction. I have no doubt that John now stands in Heaven, still watching over his families. John, on September 11, 2001, you and your two families became linked to the rest of us. We are sorry that your life ended when and the way it did. But we thank you for your commitment and example. You are a true hero. May God bless and keep your family safe until you can all be together again.
The information in the above tribute came from the following resources:
This is part of a huge blogging effort where one man started a movement to get bloggers involved in remembering the victims of 9/11. You can read other tributes HERE.