9/11 WIDOW WON'T LET BRAVEST GET AXED

By STEVE DUNLEAVY

January 13, 2003 -- THERE was a time when I thought Osama bin Laden was the name of a trendy Upper East Side restaurant.
That was on Feb. 26, 1993, when as a reporter I was cauterized by the first attack on the World Trade Center.

"Not Ronnie," Eve Bucca was saying. "He told all of us in the family that this guy, Osama bin Laden, is a new guy on the scene.

"He said we have underestimated this guy. He was behind that first attack.

"I remember him saying, 'This guy knows how to move the money and do really bad things.' "

Ronnie Bucca, 29 years a member of Special Forces and the 101st Airborne and a veteran fire marshal, was so convinced about another attack triggered by bin Laden, he talked to Eve and his kid, Ronnie Jr., about a doomsday scenario.

Hearing-challenged people in the Clinton administration seemed to be cheaper by the dozen: Nobody listened to Ronnie and, of course, we saw almost 3,000 humans doomed on that dark day, Sept. 11.

Fire Marshal Ronnie Bucca was one of the doomed and made sure, like many others, to give his life to save others.

James Kelty, supervising fire marshal of the Special Investigation Unit said: "Another marshal, Jim Devery, was with him, taking people downstairs when the second plane hit.

"Jim said, 'Give me a hand,' and Ronnie said, 'I can hear them, people on the 51st floor screaming. I'm going to get them.' "

Widow Eve said: "He knew what he was getting into. He knew. But here was a man who couldn't turn a deaf ear to people in trouble."

Today in her life, Eve is doing what she knew her husband would have wanted in death.

She is joining a campaign, partly in Ronnie's name, to protest the elimination of 50 fire marshals' jobs under the new budget ax.

I am all for tax cuts, but if I thought a tax cut for me would put cops, firefighters, fire marshals, sanitation workers on the street, I would gag on my beer.

Mayor Mike, we know about tough times, but don't take our safety net away. You wanna few more bucks out of my paycheck? You got it.

But not these guys.


http://www.nypost.com/commentary/53183.htm

IN HIS NAME:
Eve Bucca, with son Ronald Jr., honors her husband, Ronnie.
N.Y. Post: Jim Alcorn