Band of Dads




September 11, 2001

On Tuesday, March 12, 2002, retired FDNY Firefighter John Tipping showed up at Ground Zero. As he walked in, he noticed that his son-in-law, an NYPD officer, was on duty. As he went to say hello, he asked if there were
any recoveries being made, to which his son-in-law replied, "Yes, I think they may have found John, Jr."John Tipping, Sr., raced down to the hole and discovered that his missing son had been found. The men who found his son stepped away and after John took a few private moments to be with him, he carried John, Jr., out of the hole with the help of his son-in-law and the men of Ladder 4, Engine 54, the firehouse where John, Jr., had proudly served. Shortlythereafter, I gave the 16x20 photograph to the Tipping family, to which John stood quiet for a moment, staring at the photo. He then looked up at me, his face filled with emotion and said, "This means so much to me--to my family. Thank you." It was moments like this one that will last a lifetime for me. I'm sure that John carrying his son out of Ground Zero was the toughest moment of his life--but the photo gives others strength and a restored faith in humanity to see such an act of love by a father to his son.


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