New York — Tuesday marked graduation day for 301 men and women in the New York City Fire Department's class of 2019. Among them, a record number who are answering the call, as their fathers did for the last time on 9/11.
The new graduates of the New York Fire Academy are now among the city's bravest, inheriting a legacy of service and sacrifice. For some, like Rebecca and Marc Asaro, it's a family legacy.
"It's a big accomplishment, very challenging but we all stuck together and got by," Rebecca Asaro said.
They are among 13 new firefighters who lost a parent in the line of duty on 9/11. Their father, Carl, was 39 when he was lost at ground zero. Marc was 7 and Rebecca was 9.
"I kept asking my mom when my father was coming home. She didn't have an answer," Rebecca said.
They never found him and the Asaros found family in the FDNY.
"The guys were stepping up and just always there, whatever we needed. And it just continued for years," Rebecca said.
They know the dangers of being a firefighter, but chose to do it anyway.
"My father gave his life for this job, you know. And so many other people did. And it's just, it's a very rewarding job," Marc said.
The reward is in the service.
"I feel like my dad's with me every step of the way and it brings me a little closer to him," Rebecca said.