Rudy M., 92, is a Navy Veteran who has always been passionate about helping others. He worked hard throughout his life to provide for his family, and was a loving father to his two children. Rudy also volunteered as a firefighter for thirty years in New York City. His devotion to helping others inspired many, including is son, Ray, who followed in his father’s footsteps and became a New York City firefighter.
Rudy’s life was forever changed by the events of September 11th , 2001, as his son Ray was serving as a firefighter in NYC during the time of the attacks. Although Ray was technically off duty when the attacks occurred, he continued to work, wanting to help others get to safety. While attempting to save the lives of civilians, Ray sacrificed his life, and became a true American hero. Rudy had not been back to the site of the tragedy since the days following the attack, so his Wish of a Lifetime was to honor his son by traveling back to New York City to see the completed September 11 Memorial and Museum.
Wish of A Lifetime and Brookdale are so happy to have been able to grant Rudy’s wish. From October 6th- 9th, 2015, Rudy and his family were treated to a very special week. Rudy, his niece Andrea, his son Jim, and daughter in law, Bernadette, were able to go to the World Trade Center memorial on Wednesday, October 7th. The family got a VIP tour of the memorial, and spent the entire day with two fire fighters who carefully listened to Rudy’s story and shared their insights with the family. The next day Rudy and his family were escorted by the FDNY to the Rescue 3 firehouse, where Rudy’s son Ray served as a fire fighter. Rudy and his family were then treated to a luncheon with many high-ranking fire fighters, captains, and firefighters who knew Ray, which was incredibly special for the family. After lunch, the members of Rescue 3 gave Rudy a tour of the fire station and commemorated Ray’s service with a few gifts. These gifts included a Rescue 3 helmet with a commemorative plaque on it and an American flag that was hung outside of Ground Zero following the attacks on 9/11. The special treatment made Rudy “feel like a king.” Wish of A Lifetime and Brookdale are so proud to be able to honor this amazing family, and all of the sacrifices that they have made.
Photos courtesy of David Warner Photography