A Bronx mom prays for her missing son, a hero at 'Ground Zero'

By JOHN DeSIO and MARCELA KACMAROVA

While many throughout the City have been personally touched by the past week's terrorist attacks in lower Manhattan, one Co-op City family is holding out hope that their son will emerge from the smoldering wreckage.

Christian Regenhard, 28, the son of retired police officer Al Regenhard and Co-op City Activist Sally Regen-hard, is missing after responding to the World Trade Center tragedy, but his parents are not giving up hope that he will be found alive amidst the wreckage.

"There's a very good chance he made it safely below into lower levels," said his mother. "We're hoping he's down there."

Mrs. Regenhard added, "rescuers are digging very strongly and there's still hope."

Christian Regenhard of Ladder 131 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is an ex-marine and a graduate of the elite Bronx High School of Science.

When the terrorists struck, Christian, a rookie firefighter, was dispatched with Engine Co. 279, which shares the same firehouse as his own unit.

Christian was in the building during the collapse, and while other members of his company escaped, he and other members of Engine Co. 279 have not returned.

Christian served his country as a Marine, and enjoys rock climbing, swimming, and running marathons in his spare time.

Christian's military training is giving the Regenhards hope, since while serving in the Marine's he took part in extensive survival training,

"He's a survivalist," said his mother. "He'll know how to stay alive in that rubble."

His mother specifically points to another disaster that Christian has lived through, a blizzard that he was trapped in while scaling Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, which he escaped with barely a scratch and a touch of frostbite.

Sally Regenhard added, "we feel that because of this training and background he will never give up."

Christian has a tattoo of an eagle on his right arm with a red, white and blue American flag as a symbol of his patriotism.

The tattoo also features the signature "M.C.," as a tribute to his service in the Marine Corps.

Aside from his service in the military and with the Fire department, Christian also has aspirations to work as a writer and an artist, and hopes to enroll in Cooper Union, a prestigious Manhattan college, in the near future.

While things may look bleak, Christian's parents are hoping against hope that their son steps out of the rubble alive.

"We are asking that everyone pray that Christian will be found alive," said Sally. "We are optimistic and hopeful."

Regenhard added, "faith and hope are the only things that are holding us together."

Sally continued, adding that Christian may not be in the rubble at all and may have been taken to a hospital, and stated that she and her family would not give up hope.

"We ask that the search continues for those who may be trapped," said Sally. "We're not giving up hope."

Christian's parents ask that others will hope and pray along with them at a candle light vigil to be held at 7:00 P.M. this Thursday, September 20, on the Greenway in Co-op City.

The vigil is sponsored by the Riverbay Board of Directors, as well as the area's ministers, rabbis, and spiritual leaders.

"The prayers and the kindness and support have meant so much to us," said Sally. "Please keep praying for Christian and the others who are still missing."

The local activist and a friend of Sally Regenhard, Arthur Taub, shares the hope of all people close to Christian.

According to Taub, Christian was a bright, selfless guy and a beautiful young person, and Taub strongly believed that he would come out alive.

"If anyone will make it out of there," said Taub, "Christian will. "


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