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Firefighter Daniel Foley, Who Died After Battling 9/11-Related Illness, Honored Posthumously At FDNY Medal Day

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A special ceremony was held Wednesday to honor New York's bravest.

The FDNY paid tribute to the men and women who risk their lives for others daily.

They are the bravest of the brave, and Wednesday, the FDNY honored the courageous men and women for their extraordinary sacrifice.

While the annual ceremony was delayed a year because of COVID, the work of these heroes never stopped.

"All of you kept going, saving lives, protecting people, and it was one of the things that held the city together," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

As CBS2's Christina Fan reports, 46 members of the FDNY were recognized for their courage this Medal Day.

Among them was Daniel R. Foley, who was honored posthumously for saving two young children from a Bronx fire in February 2019.

Watch: FDNY Medal Day Honors Firefighter Daniel Foley --

He was diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer four days after making the heroic rescue.

"He fought until the very last minute, like he would in a fire. He fought his sickness the same way," said his widow, Carrie Foley.

Foley spent months at Ground Zero searching for victims, including his firefighter brother, Thomas Foley, who was killed on 9/11.

Both brothers exemplifying the meaning of dedication and sacrifice.

"Danny just wanted to do the same thing that Tommy was doing and it wasn't a question if he would stay on after 9/11," Carrie Foley said.

Andrew Ansbro, president of the FDNY-Uniformed Firefighters Association, released the following statement --

"Firefighter Daniel Foley was the second member of his family to be taken from us far too soon, as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They have been laid to rest, side-by-side, as brothers by blood and by profession. There is not a more deserving Firefighter to receive this posthumous recognition than Firefighter Foley, who was revered among his peers and the members of this department. While today's honor may grant solace to the Foley family, it does not fill the void left by Daniel's loss, and therefore, now and always, the Uniformed Firefighters Association will stand with and support the Foley family for their dedication to this Department, this City, and this country. Congratulations to all those who were recognized with a Medal today for their bravery and sacrifice."

Others honored Wednesday included paramedics Niall O'Shaughnessy and Joshua Rodriguez, who responded to a building collapse, treating several injured construction workers inside.

"Let's all be clear -- if those two brave individuals are not there, that life is lost. But someone's alive today because of them," de Blasio said.

Every one of the recipients is building upon the legacy of New York's Bravest.

CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report.

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