Today is September 11, 2010 and today is remembered in the hearts of many Americans. It's hard to believe that this attack on American soil happened nine years ago. It's amazing that for many of us where we were, who we were with, what we were doing, and what we may have been wearing is forever etched in our minds as we think about that day. As those planes crashed into many remembered building that one faitful day, I was at school. I was a senior in high school at Greenwood High School, and I can remember passing by one of the classrooms where one of our teachers stopped me and asked if I had heard. I obviously had not heard because I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. He told me and that’s the moment it hit. Our country was under attack and who knew that it would continue for a long time. No one even saw it coming. We had a new President who was doing his best to run the country he believed in so much. The country that had offered him so much without expecting much in return. But more importantly, many of our freedoms were taken that day. I remember going to second period and sitting in there when someone mentioned that the Pentagon had been hit. It sank in, “the Pentagon” I screamed, my cousin worked in there on the very side that was hit. He had just walked out of the building when the plane hit, and he went back in to assist where he could. I worried for him for the day and I was sad until we heard he was okay. All of us had a family member that was affected by the attack this day. It's all hit to close to home.
Today is the day when we remember those who were lost, either by doing their jobs, or others trying to escape. It was a devastating blow to America as a whole and to the Americans that call this place home. America lost some of its finest, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other rescue workers. Those people gave their lives for others, which they were called to duty to do.
On this day I’m called to remember everyone, but someone I was chosen to remember. I can not find much on this fine man, but I’m sure he was married to a lovely lady who loved him very much as well, as he probably had children who loved him very much. His name is Lt. Charles Joseph Margiotta. He was 44, from New York, NY and he died trying to assist in the tragic event at the World Trade Center. Today we honor him for giving his life for others and doing it without even second guessing or hesitating. For this we honor you Lt. Margiotta. I’m sure you were New York’s finest, just out there doing your job. You probably impacted many lives and those people will be forever grateful.
I pray that on your journey home you were able to stand at the Pearly Gates of God’s Kingdom. Welcome home Lt.
Here is the Eulogy written for him by his brother Mike Margiotta:
According to Webster, "bravery" is defined as combining confidence with firm resolution in the presence of danger. "Courageous" however is more than brave! It adds a moral element. The courageous man steadily encounters perils to which he may be keenly sensitive at the call of duty. At no time do either of these definitions mention being fearless. Fearless is just the inability to recognize danger.
On September 11th, Chuck had fears…recognized them…called home…and then performed his job with Bravery and Courage; as did all our firefighters and police officers. We thank them all and love them all for being heroes every day.
I thought Chuck was a workaholic. If I told him I had 2 jobs…he would say, “What do you do with the rest of your time?” Chuck didn’t have a career…he had many careers. Along with the FDNY, private investigation and others, Chuck was also a substitute teacher working in the NYC Board of Ed. for 20 years.
They say you can’t mix business with pleasure. Chuck always found a way.
When Chuck was only 12 years old, I watched with amazement at his ability to juggle both. He went to Latourette golf course to fish for carp in one of the ponds. And I mean, literally standing in the pond. The pond was between a Tee off and a green. He would stand in the water fishing and then sell golfballs back to the golfers that didn’t clear the pond. Making money and fishing…Chuck’s perfect world.
Later in life, perhaps even surprising himself, Chuck turned into the perfect dad. His hobbies were planned around his family schedule. Soccer, softball, basketball, baseball…all came first. And not just seeing the games…oh no…Chuck coached his daughter and son in all the sports. Eventually Chuck took over as Director of basketball in this parish, St. Rita’s. His weekends were consumed with scheduling practices, games and tournaments. Through it all, Chuck still managed to plan family vacations, hunting and fishing trips with his buddies and lots of activities that would fulfill all his needs.
Chuck’s plate still wasn’t full. He lived one house away from his parents. He was a great son to his mother and father. He was the mule. Anything that involved a ladder or back breaking work was Chuck’s. Cleaning the gutters and plowing the neighborhood was his specialty. When the first snowflake fell, you knew it wouldn’t be long before you heard Chuck fire up the Toro snowplow! Then like kids looking for Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, neighbors would run to their windows and throw up the sash. And what to their wondering eyes should appear but, Chuck with an orange hunting jump suit, smiling ear to ear.
Chuck was like a superhero to his kids. He was like a superhero to all of his family and friends. One can only imagine what he looked like through the eyes of his children, Norma Jean and Charlie. Chuck was larger than life. He was only 5’ 11”. He was not the 6 feet that he claimed he was. But when you met him, even if you looked down to him physically…you looked up to him in ways that you could not put your finger on. You left Chuck with a feeling that he was much bigger than he really was.
As tough as Chuck looked, and with as gruff a voice as he had, children always knew that he loved them. They instinctively knew he was their ally. And they were right. If he yelled at them for letting a game get a little out of hand, the children usually smiled or laughed. Then Chuck would laugh too, seeing himself in the kids.
Chuck's light shines in the eyes of his children, Norma Jean and Charlie, who look around in admiration at all the people here who loved their father. That light will shine brighter every day until it bursts like a super nova when we join him in heaven.
Chuck is up there now with all the other firefighters lost on September 11th, giving a lesson on how to grow tomatoes and zucchini. He knows he can’t be wrong because he is with Nani and Papa who taught him all about it.
He is up there having a pick up game of basketball against Jesus and the Apostles. Chuck calls his team the Underdogs. I’d like to introduce them to you now:
Starting at Forward…everyone who was too little to fight for themselves. At the other forward… everyone who in the latter years of life were stripped of their dignity and were unable to perform tasks we take for granted. At Right Guard…everyone Chuck loved that left this world before him. At left guard…everyone who ever misjudged Chuck's loyalty while on earth. And STARTING AT CENTER…a man who at only 5’11”, now stands taller than everyone because of the life he led, the traditions he held on to, the compassion he showed and the memories he left...Chuck Margiotta
I continue to research this Hero and upon doing so I found this:
When he left Staten Island to attend Brown University, Chuck Margiotta told classmates that he would return to New York to become a fireman. He did just that, serving 15 years in Harlem and then the last 4 with Ladder 85 in Staten Island.
He also became a substitute teacher. A private investigator. A coach of his children's soccer and basketball teams. And he was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, winning small roles in the movies "Frequency" and "Hannibal."
"He was usually the guy who got shot," said Steve Gallira, a friend since childhood. "Nobody knows when the guy slept. We don't think he did."
Early on Sept. 11, Mr. Margiotta, 44, was returning to Staten Island after filling in for another firefighter in Brooklyn. Once he heard the news of the attacks, he turned around, caught a ride with Rescue 5 near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and headed for the towers.
That was Chuck: all drive. Always doing the unexpected. Like becoming tight end for his high school football team when he could hardly catch a pass. Like saying unabashedly in the company of other men how he had done the right thing by marrying his wife, Norma. Mr. Gallira said, "I felt all this work he did, Chuck believed it was his obligation to life, to fill it up."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 14, 2001.
To honor someone next year you can go to http://www.dcroe.com/2996 and sign up.
His family has also dedicateda website to him also that you can go check out pictures and other things on: http://chuckmargiotta.com/index.html
God Bless America!!! Stand Tall & Proud!!!!