More than 200 attendees gathered at St. Lawrence the Martyr Roman Catholic Church in Sayville to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and pay tribute to local fallen heroes: Lt. Glen Wilkinson – FDNY Engine 238, Firefighter Lincoln Quappe – FDNY Rescue 2 and NYPD Officer Glen Pettit.
Flags of the Sayville, West Sayville and Bayport Fire Departments were held by white-gloved honor guards, followed by more than 100 fire department members.
“Remember is the theme of the day," said Father Nicholas Figliola stated. "If you want a good picture of God, look at a firefighter rushing into a fire.”
Fire Chiefs Thomas Pantano of Sayville, Joe Schroeder of West Sayville and Paul Bachek of Bayport read portions of a poem entitled “America’s Day of Infamy," written by Christine Russo, an 18-year-old volunteer and Advanced/Critical Care EMT who was involved in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center.
Many kind words were spoken about Firefighter Lincoln Quappe. He was a son, brother, cook, teacher, husband, father, hero and prankster. Along with being a member of the FDNY, he was a volunteer with the SFD. His brother and sister wrote a song about him entitled “Always in our Hearts," which Chief Pantano recited to the crowd.
Glen Pettit was a member of the NYPD. His interest in photography dated back to his early years when he was an award-winning videographer before becoming a patrol officer with the New York City Police Force. In 2000, he joined the video production unit of the Police Department. He was also a member of the Emerald Society. He served with the West Sayville Fire Department where he had planned to produce training videos. His former supervisor, Jim McNamara, said, "He was a little guy, but very tall in spirit.’”
Pettit had a camera on hand on 9/11. The NYPD posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor. In addition, a stretch of Montauk Highway between West Sayville and Oakdale has been renamed Glen Pettit Way.
Lt. Glen Wilkinson of FDNY Engine 238 and an honorary member of the Bayport Fire Department was also honored, but at the request of the family, no one spoke at the podium.
With his sister by his side, Clint Quappe, the 18-year-old son of Lincoln Quappe, read the Firefighter’s Prayer. Clint is now a volunteer with the SFD, wearing his father’s once retired number.
The service ended with "God Bless American" and thunderous applause for the firefighters as they exited.