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Firefighter Is Laid to Rest in a Final Ceremony

September 08, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Firefighters in formal dress and others in work attire were among hundreds of people who gathered Sunday to pay respects to Michael Ragusa, the last firefighter killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center to receive a memorial service.

The 29-year-old's remains have never been identified, so his family chose to bury a vial of blood he had donated to a bone marrow center. A funeral was scheduled for today.

Many families of the 343 firefighters killed Sept. 11, 2001, held services before remains were identified, but Ragusa's family delayed an official ceremony.

"It was a very personal decision for the family," said Gerry Sweeney, a firefighter in Ladder Company 131. "They really didn't want to go through a memorial service and then hear that a piece of Michael had been recovered and have to go through it again, but I guess they'd figured enough time had passed."

Of the 2,792 people who died in New York in the attack, the medical examiner has identified remains of just more than half.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday September 09, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Fallen firefighter -- A headline on an article in Section A said a firefighter killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center had been laid to rest Sunday. While a memorial service was held then, his funeral took place Monday.

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