Leaving His Mark
Leaving His Mark
By Eddie West
(In September of last year the Courier published an article concerning
New York City Fireman Lieutenant CHARLES "CHUCK" MARGIOTTA who was reported
missing in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. MARGIOTTA,
a relative of Phillip and Cynthia Neilson of the New Middleton community
and formerly of New York City, was one of the first firemen to arrive at
the site. His remains were never located.)
In New York City you can drive down LIEUTENANT CHARLES MARGIOTTA AVENUE.
If you are the son or daughter of a firefighter and have lost a parent
you are eligible to apply for the Lieutenant CHARLES MARGIOTTA Scholarship
at the Ivy League School, Brown University, where the former
fireman is a member of the school’s sport hall of fame.
Outside Ladder Company 85 (the New Drop firehouse in New York City)
CHUCK' GARDEN(named in honor of Lieutenant Charles Margiotta) not only
grows, but flourishes after renovation by fellow firemen.
A variety of vegetables intermingle with decorative statues and outdoor
benches where one may sit and reflect not only on the garden’s beauty
but Lieutenant Chuck Margiotta’s life.
This past year, firemen decided to make the garden a shrine to the
fireman lost in the September 11 attack.
Margiotta started the garden four years ago, raising staples such as
tomatoes and peppers.
The garden is Mike Margiotta’s, Chuck’s brother, favorite place to go in
times of grief over the loss of his brother and to honor him.
“It’s a place for us to go when we need a place to recall,” said Mike
Margiotta. “We can’t go to the cemetery.”
If firemen who lose their life in the line of duty are heroes, Margiotta
There’s no way of knowing if he saved anyone’s life on September 11 but
that was undoubtedly his intentions when he rushed to the World Trade
Center, perishing with 3,000 other individuals.
During the past year the Margiotta family members have attended numerous
services and memorials in honor of the fireman.
“It’s been bittersweet,” Mike Margiotta sums up. “It tells us how much
he loved other people and they loved him.”
Family members include his wife, two children, mother and father and
brother who all reside on Staten Island.
A school teacher, Mike Margiotta climbed up on the roof of McKee High
School and watched the second of two hijacked airplanes strike the
second World Trade Center not knowing his brother was in one of the
towers which crumbled.
A graduate of BROWN UNIVERSITY, CHARLES MARGIOTTA received a Bachelor of
Science degree in English and sociology.
He was a member of the 1976 Ivy League Championship team at Brown, where
he was inducted into the school’s sport hall of fame this year.
Margiotta gave up a high paying position in the business world to become
a New York fireman, his brother says.
“He felt he had a calling to be a fireman,” said Mike Margiotta. “He
always wanted to be one, even when he was at Brown University. He was a
foreman at General Motors. He hated it. He wanted to be in the trenches
with the guys. On September 5 of last year he had been there 20 years.”
In addition to being a fireman, Margiotta was a private investigator and
a movie stunt man.
Ten days after the attack, when cleanup operations were just underway,
Mike Margiotta visited the site where his brother perished.
“Nothing can adequately describe the site,” said Margiotta. “You don’t
get the impression you feel visiting it as you do seeing it on
A year after the tragedy there is a debate on what to do with World
Trade Center site now that the wreckage has been cleared.
As a native New Yorker, Margiotta feels the office towers should be
reconstructed on the site and include a memorial to the victims of the
“It should be rebuilt as soon as possible as a functional area,” said
Ed West / Cartharge Courier