Pataki visits Rescue 5, which lost 11 members at World Trade Center
September 12, 2003

One photo depicted a man atop the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Another man was shown relaxing in a fireboat. Others were captured cradling a baby or posing with their wives. All seemed to be enjoying happy times.

These were the firefighters once assigned to Rescue Co. 5 in Concord, Staten Island's elite firefighting force -- hit harder than any other borough unit on Sept. 11, 2001.
Eleven Rescue 5 members never returned to their firehouse. Two years later, their sacrifice was not forgotten.

Rescue 5 was Gov. George E. Pataki's first stop yesterday after a morning ceremony at Ground Zero. He visited the Clove Road firehouse because "no place was hurt worse than Staten Island" on Sept. 11, he said.

"We are eternally grateful," the Republican governor told a crowd of victims' relatives, firefighters and public officials crammed into the firehouse.

"It is a sad day for all of us," said Pataki, who was given a Rescue 5 jacket. "Two years later, the pain is still there. The sense of loss is still there."

The photos of Rescue 5's lost firefighters hang on a special wall erected within the firehouse. It depicts faces and memories of all 11 men lost, along with the picture of a Brooklyn firefighter who was assigned to Rescue 5 that day and was killed. Various artifacts -- from steel recovered at the World Trade Center site, to a special firemen's work tool, to an American flag flown over Afghanistan in wartime -- sit below the wall in a collage.

Meanwhile, the same dozen firefighters pictured on the wall have their names scripted on a new Rescue 5 rig which replaced the old one, which was damaged at Ground Zero.

The name of 44-year-old Meiers Corners Firefighter CHUCK MARGIOTTA , a Ladder Co. 85 firefighter who jumped aboard Rescue 5's rig and lost his life on Sept. 11, is on the truck as well.
 Robert Gavin / Advance Albany Bureau