LADDER 105 FDNY

Mourners Bid Farewell to 'Young at Heart' FDNY Hero

MAXINE SHEN
Courtesy of New York Post
6-29-02

NEW YORK -- On the morning of Sept. 11, Fire Lt. Dennis O'Berg looked for his firefighter son, Dennis P. O'Berg, in the rubble of the World Trade Center - but found only the wreckage of his Ladder Co. 105 fire truck.

It upset him so much, O'Berg resigned that day - ending a 31-year Fire Department career.

For months afterward, Lt. O'Berg and his family held out hope that his son's body would be found.

But all that turned up was his jacket, his helmet and one of his boots.

With the World Trade Center site clear of rubble, the O'Bergs finally held a memorial service yesterday - with an empty casket.

Hundreds of friends, family and New York firefighters gathered at St. Ephrem's Church in Brooklyn to bid their final farewell to firefighter Dennis O'Berg, dead at age 28.

One of his best friends, Joseph Favuzzi, remembered O'Berg as an intelligent, hard-working achiever who "knew how to balance work and life."

O'Berg was a firefighter for only six months. He'd given up his job as an accountant in order to be "the kind of husband who would be there for his wife and could cook her dinner," said his sister, Patricia O'Berg.

Lt. O'Berg, who himself once served in Ladder Co. 105, said, "On 9/11, Dennis and the men in Ladder 105 performed their duty in a brave and forward manner."

An avid sports and movie fan - especially of the New York Rangers and the "Star Wars" series - the younger O'Berg had an eclectic taste in music and was a keen collector of things ranging from baseball cards to Normal Rockwell items.

"Dennis was young at heart," said Lt. O'Berg, holding back tears.

"Dennis never got a chance to fulfill all his dreams and would be disappointed to know that he didn't. We love him and miss him so much."