A Garden Grows as a Memorial to WTC Hero

A Garden Grows as a Memorial to WTC Hero

 When Charles Margiotta arrived at Ladder Co. 85, the lot next to the New
Dorp firehouse was empty.

But with the lieutenant's green thumb at work, it wouldn't stay empty for long. With the same dedication he showed to his career, Margiotta turned that empty lot into a thriving vegetable garden.

Since he lost his life on Sept. 11, the garden seems to have taken on a life of its own, appearing more vibrant than ever before. And his family, firefighter buddies and friends have vowed to keep it that way.

Yesterday, they gathered at the firehouse to dedicate the Chuck Margiotta Memorial Garden as a testament to his life and a living memorial to his death.

It is now home to a terraced garden, paving stones, a bench and a flagpole with a spotlight surrounded by a white picket fence. Richie Durso, a firefighter who recently retired from Engine Co. 165 -- which shares the house with Ladder 85 -- organized the effort to raise money for the work done at the memorial.

The dedication was spearheaded by Tom Delpino, one of Margiotta's best friends and the firefighter assigned to assist his family after Sept. 11. Before a firehouse barbecue yesterday, a bronze plaque featuring the bust of
the fallen firefighter was hung on the exterior wall of the firehouse facing the garden.

It's inscription: " Chuck's Garden."

Margiotta, 44, of Meiers Corners, jumped on a rig with members of Concord's Rescue Co. 5 when he heard the news of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. He is survived by his wife Norma and their two children,
Norma Jean and Charles Jr. Also surviving are his parents, Charles and Amelia (Molly), and his brother, Michael.
 Staten Island Advance