U.S. Air Force Honors FDNY Hero
(L to R) Senior Master Sergeant Paul Piazza, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, Chief of Department Edward Kilduff and Senior Master Sergeant Charles Morris.
The U.S. Air Force presented the FDNY and family of Chief of Department Peter Ganci, who was killed on Sept. 11, with memorabilia from the Transit Center at Manas in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, informally named Ganci Air Base, on Apr. 3 at the FDNY Fire Academy.
“This is a truly special ceremony and it speaks to the unbreakable bond between the FDNY and the members of our military,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said. “Chief Ganci’s name is revered throughout the FDNY. And, as we can all see, his name is revered throughout the United States Armed Forces as well.”
Among those attending the ceremony were Chief Ganci’s wife, Kathleen; sons, Peter and Chris, who both are FDNY Fire Lieutenants; and daughter, Danielle.
The base, which is located just outside Afghanistan, opened in December 2001. The items presented included signs for ‘Pete’s Place,’ a recreation center at the base, and the ‘Ganci badge.’ The base is slated to close in July 2014.
“Members found comfort and inspiration in this name for the last decade,” Senior Master Sergeant Charles Morris said as he presented the items.
Chief of Department Edward Kilduff added, “That is exactly what he meant to us, too. He was a great advocate for us and we admired him.”
Commissioner Cassano and Chief Kilduff both noted they worked with Chief Ganci and found him to be a model for what a chief should be.
“This is such a wonderful way for us to say thank you,” Lt. Chris Ganci said, noting his father was a military veteran. “He chose to live his life in service and every day I walk through the firehouse doors I think of him. He loved his job so much and this would have meant the world to him.”