T Nation

Lest We Forget

Lot’s of families gave a lot on 9/11. Some continue to do so.

In NYC the reminders are constant.

Lest we forget.

The fire’s in Iraq - again

By MELISSA GRACE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

He wants to serve his city, but FDNY probie Peter Regan keeps getting called to serve his country.
The 23-year-old Marine corporal, whose firefighter dad was killed at the World Trade Center, is headed to Iraq for a second year-long tour of duty.

But this time, he’ll be going as one of New York’s Bravest.

He was to have graduated from the Fire Academy in March with the rest of his class.

But because he’s set to ship out to North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune on Sunday, the Fire Department is holding a special graduation ceremony today - just for him.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta will officiate at Rescue 3 in the Bronx, the storied company where Regan’s father, Donald, 47, was last assigned.

“I’ve been waiting for five years for this job, and now I’m going back to Iraq,” the freckled, blue-eyed Marine said yesterday.

Peter Regan’s mom said she was angry when he told her he was headed back overseas.

“Then he said he was going because ‘My job is not done,’” she said. “I had no answer to that.”

After 9/11, Peter Regan, who was stationed in California as a Marine, came home and went to work at Ground Zero.

“I started going down to the pile with my dad’s company,” he said quietly. “We didn’t find anything of my father.”

The younger Regan said that after 9/11 he could have gotten out of his Marine duties and never even gone to Iraq.

But, he said, his dad “was pretty proud that I was in the Marines. I think he would have rather I finished what I started.”

Regan signed up with the Marines after taking the FDNY test in 1999 because he knew there was a four-year waiting list to get into the Fire Academy.

He was accepted into last fall’s class. Though he was not injured in Iraq, Regan broke his arm in a drill on Randall’s Island. He had to wait to finish his training this spring.

The youngest of four children, Peter lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn, until age 7, when his family moved to Pine Bush, in Orange County.

His dream to become a firefighter began as a kid in Brooklyn when he visited his dad at work.

“I used to get in trouble for messing up the hose beds,” Regan joked when members of his father’s old company, Ladder 174 in East Flatbush, showed up at the Fire Academy yesterday to wish him well.

FDNY Lt. Mickey Conboy, who worked with Donald Regan at Rescue 3, said, “His father was a great guy, and he’s a great kid. He’s filling his shoes.”

Regan’s Fire Academy buddies, two of them former Marines, also expressed their admiration.

“It’s pretty honorable,” said Kevin Wessolock, 31. “He’s a young guy, he’s got his whole life ahead of him and he already did his time.”