Young Firefighters Memory Lives On At St. Michaels Cemetery – QNS.com

Young Firefighters Memory Lives On At St. Michaels Cemetery

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and a handful of community activists plan to meet on Thursday in order to discuss fund-raising strategies for a memorial at St. Michaels Cemetery honoring an Astoria firefighter who was the youngest to perish on September 11.
A bronze, four-foot tall statue of a fireman leaning on his axe, will grace the cemeterys grounds, in memory of the athletic and outspoken Christopher Santora, who was a 23-year-old member of Engine Company 54.
"The efforts of St. Michaels Cemetery to establish a permanent memorial acknowledging the selfless and heroic acts of Christopher Santora, and the other silent heroes of September 11, honor the personal sacrifice those individuals have given us all," said Congresswoman Maloney, honorary chair of the Christopher Santora Memorial Committee. "I am pleased to join St. Michaels Cemetery and the families of our firefighters in paying tribute to the memory of those who truly redefined the meaning of heroes for our country."
The commitee needs to raise around $85,000 for the memorial, said Ed Horn, spokesman for St. Michaels Cemetery. The funds raised will pay for the statue, along with a gazebo and flowerbed. "This is a celebration of a city boy by the city of New York," said Horn. "…and a way to honor the Santora family whove devoted their lives to serving the country." An inscription, to be determined by the Santora family, will be etched onto the statue.
Santora was an overachiever, acing the New York Fire Departments exam on his first try. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Al Santora, a former deputy chief for 40 years and head of Safety Programs for the FDNY. Santoras wife, Maureen, is a retired schoolteacher for the City of New York. The Santora family had a son and a daughter stationed overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
St. Michaels Cemetery is open to people of all faiths and was established in 1852. Horn hopes that in years to come, visitors to the cemetery will read Santoras inscription on the memorial statue and remember September 11. "People still come to visit relatives who have been buried here for over a hundred years," said Horn. "One hundred fifty years from now, people will see Christophers memorial and recognize the loss and the bravery of that day."

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