TUSSAUD'S TRIBUTE WAXES POETIC ABOUT FLAG-RAISING

By JENNIFER GOULD

September 4, 2002 -- The three firefighters photographed raising the American flag over the ashes of Ground Zero, an image that became the symbol of America's will to fight terror, were honored yesterday at the unveiling of a life-size wax monument of the moment.

"The image of firefighters George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Billy Eisengrein raising the flag from the rubble of the World Trade Center symbolized the strength and courage of New Yorkers and Americans nationwide during our darkest hours," said Gov. Pataki, who joined the dignified, solemn-faced firefighters at Madame Tussaud's on 42nd Street yesterday.

"It truly was a symbol of hope that all of us could rally behind."

The photo, taken at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11, made The Post's front page on Sept. 13.

Until now, the firefighters had chosen to be anonymous because, they say, the real heroes are those who made the ultimate sacrifice Sept. 11.

Pataki said while they have chosen not to turn themselves into public figures, "they represent the best of firefighters and America."

"They did a great job. It looks so much like us that it's scary in a way," said Johnson, of Rockaway Beach.

http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/56276.htm


FROZEN IN TIME:
Madame Tussaud's recreation of firefighters raising the flag over Ground Zero will be shown for free for the next month.
- NYP: Michael Norcia