BOSTON (CBS) – Peabody firefighter Michael Dewan has carefully preserved the few items his uncle Gerard left behind, including a replica of his FDNY helmet.
Gerard was killed responding to the 9/11/01 attacks and that’s why Michael says he’s been moved to fight for his brothers in the FDNY he says, “Blood, sweat, tears (and) death. They went there too.”
But New York’s first responders haven’t been formally invited to the Ground Zero memorial ceremony. Instead, New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg says they can watch from a nearby park.
WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports
“These were the people who brought home your family your friends,” says Michael.
Chris Jenkins’ sister started a petition they’re hoping will change the mayor’s mind and it already has over 3,100 signatures.
When asked where he thought the first responders deserved to be on the tenth anniversary memorial ceremony, Jenkins said, “In the front row right next to the families. They did the work of going in and trying to locate these families loved ones.”
Mayor Bloomberg’s office says first responders will be represented on stage that day but this year more family members are expected and there’s not enough room.
Not a good enough reason says Jenkins, “there was enough room that day to fit thousands of people and there should be enough room now.”
Michael plans to honor his uncle Gerard during the annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the State House, on 9/11/11.