Monday, September 11, 2006
Honoring William Krukowski
I am truly humbled to honor a real hero of 9/11, William Krukowski, who, along with his fellow firefighters, ran into Tower 1 when everyone else was running out. He was the same age I will be soon, 36. He was with Ladder 21, and he died that day in the World Trade Center.
Apparently, risk-taking was a part of Bill’s life. He used to ride a motorcycle and skydive. He also liked souping up cars and trying them out on a drag strip. He had recently given up the motorcycle for a bike, and rode it to work most days in Manhattan from his home in Bayside, Queens.
He grew up in Bayside and went to Holy Cross High School and Nassau Community College. While he was waiting to be called to the Fire Department, he worked in construction, and with the New York Department of Sanitation. He was a firefighter for about three years.
Bill was separated from his wife but still spent a lot of time with his son, William Lee, 10. "I am so proud of the kind of father my brother was to his son through all the difficulties of his personal relationship," said his sister, Virginia.
On a memorial website, his mother left the following message: Thinking of you Bill and missing you so much. I miss your wonderful smile and disposition. I miss your honesty and dedication; which you applied to all situations. You were one of a kind. I can only hope that your son Billy follows in your footsteps with regard to love and caring. You meant the world to me. Love you much.
I cannot imagine what his family went through and has gone through since that day. A mother lost her only son. A ten-year-old boy lost his father. I have a son who is ten; to be that age, needing a father to guide you into the world of being a man, and to suddenly not have him anymore, is a horrible thing.
I hope that whenever Billy thinks of his father, he is proud. I imagine every time he ran into a burning building, Bill must have wondered if he’d come out again. That day surely was no different. He was a hero in every sense of the word, brave and courageous, dedicated and selfless. Thank you, Bill, for your sacrifice. I never knew you, but I will never forget you.
For posts honoring other victims of 9/11, go here.
If that site is still down, try this one.