The morning of September 10th, eight members of our staff will lace up our running shoes for an opportunity we’ve looked forward to for months. We’re participating in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb here in San Diego, sponsored by FirefighterAid, a nonprofit that provides charitable assistance to firefighters and families in crisis.
Here are the eight men we’ll be honoring on this day.
Brent climbs for CHRISTIAN REGENHARD
Christian eagerly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at age 19, and served five years of distinguished service, rising to the rank of Sergeant. Following his discharge, he continued his commitment to service by joining the New York City Fire Department, graduating from the fire academy in July of 2001. When he wasn’t in uniform, Christian practiced a life of adventure, traveling all over the world and extensively to South America. He enjoyed rock climbing, scuba diving, running marathons, and according to his mother, disappointing a parade of women as a total “babe magnet.” He was 28 years old.
Landon climbs for MARTIN DEMEO
Friends enthusiastically referred to Martin as “America’s volunteer,” because he was known for always lending a hand. He’d arrive to little league games with jugs of water and sleeves of cups for the kids on hot days, do favors for the neighbors, and of course, serve as a volunteer EMT in Port Washington where he grew up. Later, he became a paramedic for the Nassau County Police Department, and ultimately joined the fire department in 1985. He was immensely proud of his children’s athletic and academic successes, and looked forward to touring college campuses with his oldest daughter.
Jeff climbs for VINCENT PRINCIOTIA
Vincent was a family man in more ways than one—as a loving husband and father, and to his brothers and sisters in the fire service. A generous man with a sense of humor, he entertained the department with light-hearted practical jokes and seemed always dedicated to making people smile. An avid sportsman, he was often seen in Hawaiian shirts and boasted a perpetual tan from trips spent surfing, sailing, bicycling, skiing and snowboarding. He was 39 years old.
Alex climbs for BRUCE REYNOLDS
People who lived in the Inwood section of Manhattan often passed a carefully tended garden, which became known as “Bruce’s Garden.” When he wasn’t in the uniform of a Port Authority police officer, Bruce Reynolds—husband, and father of two—enjoyed tending to his garden of roses, evergreens, lilies, mums, and violets; a passion of his since his adolescent years. The 41-year-old police officer, family man, and gardener was last seen running into Two World Trade Center, determined to save lives.
Michelle climbs for CARL VINCENT BINI
Carl was two years away from retirement on September 11, 2001, which happened to be his day off. But when the first plane hit, Carl called his wife, whom he’d loved since they were kids, and told her he was going in. She told him to be careful. Heroism was business as usual for Carl, whose career was punctuated by moments of valor, like responding to a plane crash in '92, delivering medical care during a severe ice storm in '98, and other situations that didn’t lead the evening news. He was 42 years old, and left behind his wife and two teenage daughters.
Travis climbs for RODNEY C. GILLIS
"He was a boss, a friend, a confidant. He was the best you could ask for out of the NYPD,” said Rodney’s friend and fellow officer Craig Hunter. Rodney was a 13-year veteran of the department on the day of the attack, and was assigned to the team he’d wanted to be a part of since day one: The Emergency Service Unit. He and his team had penetrated deep into the south tower before it collapsed. One of the last acts Rodney did was requesting a helicopter flight to the top so he and his team could rappel down to attempt rescues of victims trapped by the fire. At age 33, he left behind three children and his fiancée.
Carl climbs for THOMAS MOODY
Thomas came from a family of firefighters, which included his father, uncle, and two brothers. A man with a levelheaded and tough demeanor, his career included a number of highlights, including the Lefrak City Fire in 1989, and the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Once, after battling a fire in Queens and sustaining injuries in the process, he still made it to the birth of his first child a few hours later. Thomas was running a hazardous materials class on the day of the attacks, and was asked to fill in for some unavailable firefighters. Neither Thomas nor any of the 17 men who went into the tower with him made it out.
Efrain climbs for MATTHEW DAVID GARVEY
At age 18, Matthew enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, kicking off a 10-year career that would see him become a squad leader in 2nd ANGLICO, an advanced scout team. He served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield before leaving active duty for a different kind of uniformed service: joining the fire department in 1995. He earned his way to Elite Squad 1 unit in Brooklyn, and remained a Marine reservist. When he wasn’t serving his country and community in uniform, he played guitar, practiced photography, and even climbed Mount Rainier. On September 11, 2001, he’d just recently been accepted to law school. He was 37 years old.
Do you know a first responder or police officer who perished in the attack 15 years ago? We’d be honored if you’d leave a few thoughts about them in the comments below.