September 11, by Nathaly Pesantez
A street at the border of Woodside and Astoria has been co-named in honor of a longtime FDNY firefighter and Vietnam veteran who died earlier this year of a 9/11-related cancer.
In an afternoon ceremony on Sept. 9 in front of Boulevard Gardens on 54th St. and 31st Ave., a street sign bearing “Jimmy Lanza Way” was unveiled, honoring the firefighter who served in the FDNY for nearly 30 years, according to the FDNY. The event was attended by elected officials, FDNY members and residents.
James “Jimmy” Lanza, who died at the age of 71 on April 6, spent most of his career at Ladder 43/ Engine 53 in Harlem. He was on the scene at the World Trade Center on September 11, where he and members of his firehouse helped save 16 people out of the rubble in the stairwell now known as “Miracle Stairwell B”, according to NBC New York.
Lanza, who lived in Woodside and was an active community member, volunteered with a firefighter-related organization and participated in nearly every WTC line-of-duty funeral held, according to the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York .
“He was beloved by everyone who crossed his path and he will be sorely missed,” said the UFA in a statement about his passing.
Congressman Joe Crowley, who attended the Sept. 9 event hosted by Councilmember Costa Constantinides, referred to Lanza as a “civic leader and 9/11 hero”.
The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums also played at the co-naming ceremony.
Lanza’s name was one of 32 added to the World Trade Center Memorial Wall earlier this week, which commemorates those who died of illnesses related to rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.
According to the UFA, as of August, 163 members of the FDNY have died of WTC related illnesses.