FDNY adds 37 names to memorial wall in Brooklyn to honor victims of 9/11-related illnesses

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ByCeFaan Kim via WABC logo
Thursday, September 15, 2022
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FDNY Lieutenant John Raftery was one of the 37 names added Wednesday to the memorial wall at FDNY headquarters in downtown Brooklyn. CeFaan Kim has more.

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- Just three days after the reading of names of the September 11th victims, new names were added to honor those who died this year from 9/11-related illnesses.

FDNY Lieutenant John Raftery was one of the 37 names added Wednesday to the memorial wall at FDNY headquarters in downtown Brooklyn.

The 37 members who died from a World Trade Center illness was the second largest group to be added to the wall since it was created in 2011.

Lieutenant Raftery and his wife were together for six years. They got engaged just before the pandemic. They were married for only two months.

"I was all for a Zoom wedding during COVID, but he was hell-bent on walking down the aisle in a proper way," Kimberley Raftery said. "So we kept putting it off because of COVID and then he got sick and he wanted to put it off until he got better. And he kept moving the benchmark a little bit. And then ultimately it was, I wanna marry you before I lose my hair. So we got married in Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital."

John Raftery's brother Jimmy Raftery says he wants people to remember his brother for his dedication, skill and his love of helping others.

Service is the family business," Jimmy Raftery said.

And then there are the Tierney's, the wife and daughter of Battalion Chief Edward Tierney who also lost his fight with leukemia.

He was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering too. His wife Norine is a retired nurse at that hospital. His daughter is a nurse there today.

"Just because he's gone it doesn't mean he doesn't live through all the stories, the laughs," Ally Tierney said. "People still today they talk about him. So even though he's gone his memory still lives on."

On that day, 343 members were lost.

To date, 299 members have died of 9/11-related illnesses. All of their memories will live on forever.

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