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Thread: Good Stuff!: Romance Blossoms at Ground Zero

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    Good Stuff!: Romance Blossoms at Ground Zero

    Romance Blossoms at Ground Zero
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Filed at 1:27 a.m. ET

    NEW YORK (AP) -- A romance that began with a Christmas Day massage at ground zero blossomed into marriage, with the couple tying the knot aboard a ship that transported terrorism victims on Sept. 11.

    Dawna LoPiccolo and John Mraz, who met when she massaged the exhausted firefighter amid the ruins of the World Trade Center, said ``I do'' Friday on the bow of the Spirit of New Jersey.

    For the afternoon ceremony, the ship was filled with hundreds of wedding guests, including captains who helped pilot the vessels that carried 8,500 people to New Jersey after they fled the attack site.

    LoPiccolo and Mraz were married by the Rev. Lynn Antilla, who had volunteered as a spiritual counselor at ground zero.

    ``There are no words to describe the pain, the sorrow,'' of Christmas at ground zero, the pastor told friends and family members. ``But there are also no words to describe the sacrifice and the love of people like Dawna and John.''

    With tears on their cheeks, the couple embraced his 7-year-old son, John James, and her 3-year-old daughter, Jillian.

    The newlyweds then sailed down the Hudson, releasing two white doves as they passed ground zero. When the Spirit of New Jersey reached the Statue of Liberty, the wedding cake was cut and champagne toasts offered.

    LoPiccolo and Mraz met in a wood shack at ground zero where firefighters lined up for massages.

    Mraz, who lost 25 firefighter friends, was in a line of rescue workers waiting for the volunteering physical therapist.

    ``It was cold, and I rubbed his shoulders, his hands. I said, 'Don't worry, sweetie,''' she recalled in May, after they were engaged.

    Then, before returning to work, ``he gave me this hug that knocked my socks off!'' she said.

    On her hardhat, he scribbled, ``It was worth the wait,'' and signed it ``John, Engine 248.''

    The 42-year-old firefighter, who lost his wife of 19 years last year, said he ``wasn't out looking for anybody.'' But three days after he met LoPiccolo, 35, he phoned another firefighter who knew her.

    Their first date, just after New Year's, lasted 11 hours.

    Said Mraz just after they were engaged: ``It was like I knew her my whole life, like I knew her from a past life. She is my angel of the ashes.''

    ____________________________
    Can anybody get a photo??

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    Smile�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

    I've e-mailed this out to so many people. It proves that good can come out of even the most tragic circumstances.
    Thanks for sharing this! We'd like to hear more.

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    Tragedy Leads Couple to One Another

    Love at Ground Zero

    Littman Jewelers recently donated a platinum and diamond wedding band to Dawna LoPiccolo (second from right) and John Mraz. The couple, who met on Christmas Day at Ground Zero, will be getting married later this month. Also pictured are Lois Sabatella (second from left), manager of Littman Jewelers at the Broadway Mall and associate Maryann Williams. Photo by Victoria A. Caruso

    Tragedy Leads Couple to One Another
    By Victoria A. Caruso
    Dawna LoPiccolo and John Mraz met on Christmas Day 2001 at Ground Zero. Now, less than six month later, the couple will be getting married at the sacred site that brought them together.

    LoPiccolo, a divorced massage therapist originally from Levittown, began volunteering at Ground Zero immediately following the attacks. She typically celebrated Christmas Day with her grandmother, but her passing earlier that year had LoPiccolo looking to go back to the city. "If my grandmother were still alive, I would not have left her side," said LoPiccolo, 35. "For some reason, something was pulling me there."

    Mraz, a widowed New York City firefighter with Engine Company 248 in Flatbush, was also working that day. He was not, however, scheduled to be at Ground Zero, but ended up being reassigned when another department was in need of an extra man to work at the site. "It was such a weird day," said Mraz, 43. "I wasn't supposed to be there, but they needed an extra guy."

    Toward the end of the day, Mraz was the last of the many firemen to get his massage. When LoPiccolo was done, Mraz gave her a hug and wrote, "It was worth the wait" on LoPiccolo's hard hat. Several days later both LoPiccolo and Mraz, unbeknownst to one another, called another firefighter they both knew asking about the other. "I knew he was the one the second I met him," said LoPiccolo.

    They began dating after New Years and a month ago, LoPiccolo and her 2-year-old daughter moved in with Mraz and his 7-year-old son. They will be getting married later this month at Ground Zero, during a 15-minute ceremony under the metal beams that had formed a cross after the towers collapsed. They will be holding off on having the reception until September.

    "We don't feel it is too soon," said LoPiccolo. "The kids were missing each other, we were missing one another and we wanted to give the kids the proper foundation. They were the deciding factor and it's like they've given us their blessing."

    The whole thing, said LoPiccolo, is a little overwhelming. "Neither one of us was supposed to be down there that day," she said. "He got transferred and I had stopped working at Ground Zero. In fact, my I.D. had expired, but they remembered I had been down there and let me in. John was the first person I saw and the last person I massaged."

    The fates were also with the couple when it came time to purchase LoPiccolo's wedding band. "I went to Littman [Jewelers] because my sister has been using them for years," said LoPiccolo. "It was the first ring I tried on. It's antique-looking and reminds me of my grandmother's. I fell in love with it."

    Although she continued to look at other rings, LoPiccolo's heart was on the first one she tried on and the couple put a $300 deposit down on the ring at the Broadway Mall jewelry store. When LoPiccolo's sister, Lauri Pagano, learned where the ring was from, she called to see if they would give LoPiccolo and Mraz a better deal.

    "I was under the impression they had bought it, but a couple of days later [associate] Maryann [Williams] told me their story," said Lois Sabatella, Littman manager. "Then [LoPiccolo's] sister called asking if there was something we could do about the price. It turned out she is a frequent customer of ours."

    Rather than giving the couple a break on the nearly $1,900 platinum and diamond ring, Littman gave them the ring for free. According to Sabatella, it seemed like the most appropriate thing to do. "It almost seemed funny to just give them a discount," she said. "They were there to help and that is what they represent. This is kind of like a thank you to them for helping us."

    LoPiccolo was shocked when she learned what the store was doing. "I am so touched," she said. "It's such a nice gesture and a little overwhelming."

    Although the couple has decided to get married at Ground Zero, LoPiccolo said the decision to do so was not an easy one to make. "We've been going back and forth - should we, shouldn't we," she said. "This is one of the most spiritual places for us to get married. We want to say thank you and pay our respects to the people who brought us together." She added, "We feel like it is the only proper place to acknowledge where we met [and] to show people that something positive came out of this. It gives people hope."

    Mraz agreed, saying, "It is a place of honor. So many men died in the line of duty. It holds a lot of symbolism."

    In addition to meeting LoPiccolo at Ground Zero, the Sept. 11 attacks also hold another sacred place in Mraz's life. On top of losing more than 20 friends and colleagues in the attacks, Sept. 11 was the firefighter's first day back to work following his wife's death eight months earlier.

    For both LoPiccolo and Mraz, the situation is sometimes hard to believe. "We talk about it all the time," said LoPiccolo. "We think it was fate. His biggest fear was to raise his son alone and we think maybe his wife sent me to him on Christmas. A lot of souls were working that day."


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    http://www.antonnews.com/hicksvillei...s/wedding.html


    photo Littman Jewelers recently donated a platinum and diamond wedding band to Dawna LoPiccolo (second from right) and John Mraz. The couple, who met on Christmas Day at Ground Zero, will be getting married later this month. Also pictured are Lois Sabatella (second from left), manager of Littman Jewelers at the Broadway Mall and associate Maryann Williams. Photo by Victoria A. Caruso

  4. #4
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    MARRIED WHERE THEY MET

    TRAGEDY GAVE BIRTH TO THEIR LOVE

    By TODD VENEZIA
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MARRIED WHERE THEY MET:
    Dawna LoPiccolo met firefighter John Mraz on Christmas while giving massages to Ground Zero recovery workers.

    June 6, 2002 -- The giant empty hole where the Twin Towers once stood was filled with love yesterday - as a couple who met during the grim recovery efforts were married in a ceremony near Ground Zero.
    Firefighter John Mraz wed a beaming Dawna LoPiccolo in a noon service at a memorial near the boat basin in the World Financial Center.

    Mraz, a recent widower, met LoPiccolo, a divorced mom, on Christmas Day after they both decided to work at Ground Zero because being at home was just too lonely.

    They soon fell in love, and vowed that they would marry near the disaster site to honor the people lost on Sept. 11 and all who helped in the recovery efforts.

    "It's sort of a double-edged sword," said John, who lost 25 firefighter friends Sept. 11.

    "If it didn't happen, we would have never met each other. I'm happy that something good came out of this."

    "We're two people who had given up - and just didn't think we'd have a second chance at love," said LoPiccolo, 35, a massage therapist who helped soothe tired recovery workers.

    Dressed in a white wedding suit with flowers woven into her hair, LoPiccolo held a bouquet of lilacs and fought back tears as she said "I do" to Mraz, 42.

    The Brooklyn native wore his dress uniform and lapel pin for Engine Co. 248 in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

    "He's nervous," confided best man Frank Genco, an electrician who met the couple at Ground Zero. "He says he's not, but he is."

    About 10 friends and family members, including Mraz's 8-year-old son, John James, and LoPiccolo's 2-year-old daughter, Gillian, watched the ceremony.

    "It was very nice. I love my new family," John James said.

    Television cameras from "Good Morning America" seemed to be a bit too much for little Gillian, who ran to her mother's side and held her knee as the couple read their vows.

    The ceremony was officiated by Pastor Lynn Anttila, who also met the couple at Ground Zero.

    After the vows, the wedding party rode to Ground Zero to lay wreaths beneath "the cross," a monument near the site made of two beams from the trade center.

    * One name was added yesterday to the medical examiner's list of confirmed dead in the World Trade Center attacks: Andrew H. Golkin, 30.
    http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/49732.htm

    Photo MARRIED WHERE THEY MET:
    Dawna LoPiccolo met firefighter John Mraz on Christmas while giving massages to Ground Zero recovery workers.
    - NYP: David Rentas

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    Maltese Cross Engagement Ring

    With a September wedding in mind - a Roman Catholic ceremony under the ground zero cross, they hope - he decided to give her an engagement ring.

    But the 35-year-old woman who grew up on Long Island didn't want a diamond. Instead, her ring is set with a gold-charm Maltese cross - the badge emblem of the New York Fire Department - and Mraz's four-digit badge number.

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    I am sitting here reading these other posts with tears running down my cheeks. Unlike many nights in these past months, they are very happy and hopeful tears! I wish Dawna, John, and their children a lifetime of happiness. No one can doubt that all of our new angels and guides helped them come together.

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    LEVITTOWN FIREFIGHTER WEDS

    LEVITTOWN FIREFIGHTER WEDS

    Firefighter Andrew McCrea married Jeanine Acuri at St. James Church in Seaford, July 3, 2002. McCrea is a member of Engine Company 3 at the Gardiners Ave. firehouse. Jeanine is a schoolteacher at P.S. 233 in Brooklyn. The couple honeymooned at St. Lucia in the West Indies

    -Fire News Photo by Don Wansor
    http://www.firenews.com/html/honors.html






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