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September 11, 2006
Gregory Sikorsky
Posted by Frank J. at 11:59 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (19)


Hear the last call for Gregory Sikorsky.

When the second tower of the World Trade Center fell, Gregory R. Sikorsky was on 43rd floor doing the job he had always aspired to do.

He was 34-years-old. He left behind his wife Marie, their son Steven, 3-years-old at the time, as well as his parents, George and Luzia, his three brothers, George Jr., Ken, and Perry, and well as numerous other relatives, friends, and colleagues.

Greg lived a life of service to his country and to his community. He was born on October 5, 1966 to George and Luzia Sikorsky in Manhattan, New York. He graduated East Ramapo High School in 1985 and worked as a mechanic with his oldest brother George Jr. and his younger brother Perry in his family's automotive repair shop, Sikorsky Auto Repair, on Route 306 in Wesley Hills. He also began volunteering with the Hillcrest Fire Department. He later joined the Marine Corps Reserves and served in the Persian Gulf War. In 1996, Greg dedicated himself to firefighting by joining the FDNY which assigned him to Engine 46 in the Bronx.

Greg had numerous adventurous hobbies. He was a licensed pilot and enjoyed skydiving and scuba diving. Greg used his skills as a mechanic for a special pet project: restoring a 1939 Mack fire truck he had purchased. Greg also had a soft spot for kids and for dogs. He volunteered as a Big Brother and played an active role in his company's fire prevention program. When a scrappy Dalmatian named Dominic was left with the Hillcrest Fire Department and proceeded to wreak havoc on the firehouse furniture, Greg held out hope for the dog and adopted him as his own. Eventually, Dominic became so obedient that he had been seen off-leash following Greg to church, waiting patiently for his master outside St. Boniface until mass was over.

On September 11th, 2001, hijackers flew planes into the two tallest buildings of the World Trade Center. Gregory Sikorsky, now part of Squad 41, responded to the call. The tallest buildings in New York City were on fire. The rational thing to do was to get as far away as possible, but there was no such luxury for Greg, nor was it his instinct. Innocent people were trapped, so there was only one option for him: He charged inside.

An elevator full of people was stuck near the 43rd floor, the shaft having caught fire. Greg and five other members of Squad 41 were doing whatever they could to rescue them. Greg tried to gain use of a nearby water pump to douse the flames.

And then the building fell.

In the days following, Greg's family, friends, colleagues, and his dog held out hope that he was still alive. Greg's Dalmatian, Dominic, after having been brought to Ground Zero by Greg's father, frantically climbed over the wreckage and twisted metal searching for this master. Despite becoming dehydrated and his paws bleeding, he would not stop. Eventually, too tired to climb anymore, he was passed around the firemen to continue his search. Returning home unsuccessfully, Dominic coughed for two days straight. In spite of the devastation of a missing family member, Greg's brother Ken was unable to return home since he was a U.S. Army Captain who was serving in Germany at the time, his return date put off indefinitely because of the attack.

It wasn't until Sunday, March 17, 2002, over six months later, that any sign of those missing from Squad 41 was found. Squad members then dug in the area by hand and, that Tuesday, a piece of Greg's helmet was found. On Wednesday at 1AM, seven of Greg's family members along with Dominic arrived to see an American flag-draped stretcher containing the helmet piece being brought out of the pit where the Twin Towers once stood. "He can finally be brought home to be buried in the veterans cemetery as a Marine, as a true Marine, doing his job," his father said. The flags at the Sikorsky family automobile repair shop, having been at half-staff since September 11th, were finally raised.

For his funeral, Greg's flag-draped coffin was brought to St. Boniface Church by his 1939 Mack fire truck, its restoration having been finished by the local community.

Four hundred mourners came to pay their last respects to Greg. Rev. Robert Saccoman held up 3-year-old Steven Sikorsky so he could see and told him, "I want you to look out there, because it's a love story, a love story that all these people had for your dad, and it's a story your mother will continue to tell you." Every young boy sees his father as a hero, and for Steven, he will only know his father as that legendary hero.

The goal of the terrorists was to murder as many people as possible, and Gregory Sikorsky fought against that goal simply by doing his job. While the enemy died taking the lives of other, Greg was of the first to respond to that attack by dying saving the lives of others. His name should never be forgotten, and his courage - the courage that allowed him to rush into a burning building while most of us simply watched in horror - should always serve to inspire us.


Greg's son Steven in the restored 1939 Mack fire truck.

Last Call for FF Gregory Sikorsky (memorial page)

His Legacy.com Tribute Page

His Guest Book

Hillcrest Fire Department

The Squad 41 Website

Pictures of His 1939 Mack Fire Truck (including pictures of his son, Steven)

Rating: 2.4/5 (26 votes cast)

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