Wrapped in Daddy's Angel Wings

KIERAN CROWLEY
NY Post Online

November 27, 2001 -- Four-year-old Juliet Scauso insists her dad, city firefighter Dennis Scauso, hasn't left her side, even 21/2 months after his death in the World Trade Center collapse.

"I tell Mommy I can still feel when you sleep with me at night because you wrap your angel wings around me. I love you, Daddy," she wrote in a letter read at his memorial service yesterday.

Her 6-year-old sister, Gabrielle, added in her own note that she knows Daddy's a hero "because when the plane crashed into that building, you ran in to get all the people out and safe."

Scauso's 13-year-old daughter, Darci, and 12-year-old son, Donald, simply called him "the best dad in the whole world."

And Scauso's wife, Janlyn, wrote that, while "to the world you are now a hero, you were always my hero."

"You are my everything - the air I breathe and the reason I open my eyes in the morning," she went on. "For now, I see your face in the eyes of my children."

Celebrating the 46-year-old firefighter's continuing presence in the lives of those who knew him was the theme echoed throughout the morning service at St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church in Melville, L.I.

That idea was reinforced by Mayor Giuliani, who called Scauso and his fallen colleagues "so brave and so courageous that they require the rest of us to be that way - or at least try to be."

"Nobody can take your daddy from you," he softly reminded Scauso's four grieving children. "It can't be done. Your dad is going to remain with you forever and ever."

And the theme was echoed by church pastor the Rev. Bruce Powers, who recalled how Scauso grew up being a "born rescuer," first saving stray animals and then helping humans in need, whether at his job at Haz-Mat Co. 1 on Staten Island or repairing cars and other mechanical things for neighbors.

"He's here - he's with us all," Powers said. "He will not be forgotten. I hope our young people have new heroes. Dennis Scauso was one of them, in my book."

Scauso died while rushing up the stairs to help evacuate the Twin Towers during the Sept. 11 terror attacks as the buildings collapsed around him.


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