This post has nothing to do with recruiting?
Today would have been Dave Fontana?s 42nd birthday. He would have awoken relatively early and cooked breakfast for his wife and son. He would have made plans to bring flowers to his Mom, call his brothers and sisters, create some bizarre metal sculpture, and probably would have made his way down to the local VA hospital to cheer up some grizzled WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans. Then some more family time. On his birthday.
Except that Dave was murdered on 9/11.
I?ve known Dave (you?ll find that those of us who knew people murdered on 9/11 still refer to them in the present tense) since 1981 ? he was shy and incredibly unassuming but with a devilish side that grew as he moved from being a Jones Beach Lifeguard to an FDNY Firefighter with the elite Squad 1 unit in Park Slope, Brooklyn. In the years since his death, I?ve seen his son grow into a mini-Dave complete with the same playful voice Dave used to use before he launched himself into a comedic tirade. I?ve seen his younger brother finally come out of his moribund shell and his niece finally tower over her mother. I?ve seen his Mom turn her grief into activism that has worked to protect the WTC footprint as a sacred site (the Fresh Kills landfill is also on her list). I?ve been to countless family functions, religious events, memorial FDNY masses, fundraising events where his legacy has grown.
I?ve seen his wife Marian ? 9/11 was their wedding anniversary ? grow stronger through her anguish and turn sorrow into the September 11th Families’ Association which ?supports victims of terrorism through communication, representation and peer support. [It?s] mission is to unite the September 11th community, present evolving issues, and share resources for long-term recovery.? She is now single parent, activist, accomplished author (a MUST read), aunt, and consoler who has emerged from Dave?s very large shadow.
His life has now been assumed by the lives of ? and influences the lives of – many others.
Happy Birthday Dave.