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|Manuel Del Valle Jr.|
World Trade Center, New York City, NY|
Employer: New York Fire Department
New York, NY
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In memoriam, Manuel Del Valle Jr.
LCDR Doug Factor, U.S.Navy
Today, 9/11/04, a 5K race is being held in Corpus Christi, TX where each of the 343 runners has the name of an NYFD member who died on 9/11. I will be running with Manuel's name. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family today. He made the ultimate sacrifice, and I am proud to be running in his memory after reading how great of a guy he was.
For the first time in 40 years, I made my way back to New York last weekend(10/4-10/6/02). As it happens, we have a single relative who has turned to Judaism. The weekend was the occasion of a bar mitzvah in that relative's family. On the way to the temple, we happened to walk into Manny's old firehouse, just a couple doors down from the temple. One of the firefighters told us all about Manny, and showed us newspaper clippings of his final days. He was remembered as a wonderful co-worker and a charming, capable person. Later in the day, we visited the site of the WTC. Only the relatives of Manny and his fellow innocent victims can know the full pain inflicted in Sept., '01.I will continue to search for copies of Manny's newspaper clippings so that my pre-teen boys can acquaint themselves with the heroic life that Manny led. I will cherish my time at his firehouse on that warm Saturday morning. tds