Farewell to a hero: Lt. Richard Nappi, 47, who died fighting a fire on Monday in Brooklyn, was paid farewell by thousands of fire-fighters, his family and relatives. 11-year-old son Nicholas laid flowers on his father’s casket during his funeral.
To honour veteran fire-fighter Lt. Richard Nappi, who was killed fighting a fire in Brooklyn, a huge number of uniformed fire-fighters lined the streets of Lake Ronkonkoma.
Mayor Bloomberg told the heartbroken family at the funeral that their father was a New York hero during the city’s darkest hour, addressing Nappi’s 11-year-old son and his 12-year-old daughter.
Lieutenant Richard A. Nappi.
Recounting the events of 9/11, Bloomberg added, “Your father rushed to the fire house. During the darkest day in the history of the city, he was assigned to Lower Manhattan. Later in the days and weeks after, he worked facing the smoking rubble and debris inside the World Trade Center. You should be very proud of your father.”
Salvatore Cassano, the Fire commissioner spoke of his personal connection with Richard Nappi.
“When I was told that we had a critically injured fire-fighter and that his name was Richard Nappi, my heart sunk”, said Cassano. “I knew Richard. We worked together in Lower Manhattan, in the late 90s. He was so full of life that anyone who met him once will never forgot him.”
“He was so extrovert that he was known as “yappy Nappi” around the firehouse”, added Cassano.
At the ceremony, the casket, covered in an American flag, was delivered to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. About 400 fire-fighters, friends and family filled the church for the solemn service.
“On the behalf of 8.4 million New Yorkers, I say that we are proud of him for whatever he has done for us and we are deeply saddened to have lost him. But we are grateful for the 17 years he gave to protect us and the greatest city in the world” said Bloomberg.