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Thread: Article from the Daytona Beach News Journal

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Fireman's nephew missing in NYC

    Article from the Daytona Beach News Journal

    Fireman's nephew missing in NYC

    Staff Writer

    EDGEWATER -- As America works to dig out of the emotional and physical rubble left in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, the impact of the events of that day hit very close to home for some.

    Edgewater volunteer Deputy Fire Chief Joe Daly, a retired 38-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, has watched the recovery effort in his hometown with great interest. His nephew, New York City firefighter Edward Rall, is one of the hundreds of emergency workers listed as missing since the World Trade Center collapse.

    According to Daly, Rall is a member of Rescue II, an elite high-risk search and rescue unit of the FDNY. He had just come off his shift but was still at the firehouse when word of the Trade Center incident came in.

    "He jumped on a truck and went," Daly said.

    That was the last time anyone has heard from the father of three.

    "My sister (Rall's mother) is still hoping for a miracle and I can't take that away from her," Daly said. "But I think the miracle is that he is in heaven right now."

    He said both his sister and Rall's wife, Darlene, still hold out faith that he may be found alive among the tons of rubble that were the World Trade Center. The city's fire department also has kept that hope alive, calling it a "search and rescue" mission rather than a search and recovery.

    Rall was not the only member of Daly's family to be involved in the tragedy. Three other nephews also are New York firefighters and all have been spending at least eight hours per shift sifting through the rubble for survivors.

    "I have been talking to them and others in the fire department who say they have been working 24 hours on, then 24 hours off," Daly said. "After their shifts, they are emotionally and physically exhausted. I don't know how much longer they can keep it up."

    He estimates, based on past experience digging through collapsed buildings, that it could take upwards of six months for rescuers to get to the bottom of the tons of concrete, steel and dirt that are the World Trade Center.

    The emotion in Daly's voice when he talks about the tragedy is both personal and institutional. He still uses the pronoun "we" when he refers to the FDNY.

    "You never really retire from the fire department," he said, his uniform displaying a black band around his badge and a red, white and blue ribbon. "The department is like a second home; you eat, sleep and work there."

    As a result, the loss of so many co-workers is bound to take its toll on the agency.

    "We have been through tragedies before and the department will recover," he said. "You never really overcome the grief, you will always think about it.

    "Ed loved the department. There have been tragedies before and there will be tragedies in the future. We will come back as we have always come back."

    Last edited by SeaBreeze; 01-14-2002 at 03:18 PM.

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