January 29, 2002

Orio Joseph Palmer: Letter to a Father

Orio Joseph Palmer, 45, a 20-year veteran of the New York Fire Department, was the battalion chief of Engine Company 3 and Ladder 12 in Chelsea. He lived in Valley Stream, N.Y., with his wife, Debbie, and their three children, Dana, 14, Keith, 12, and Alyssa, 9. Dana wrote a letter to him in her journal. Here are excerpts:

"Dear Dad,

"A friend gave me the idea of writing to you. She said it might help. Oh, how I wish you could write back, or I could hear your voice again, or see you