Just days shy of the 16th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, the FDNY will unveil the names of 32 more of its members added to a memorial wall for those who died of 9/11-related illnesses.
The additional names will bring to 159 the number of FDNY personnel who died of illnesses from working at Ground Zero or otherwise assisting in the recovery effort. That’s just under half the 343 FDNY members killed when the twin towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The heroes who will be honored on Thursday at FDNY headquarters at MetroTech in Brooklyn include firefighters, EMS personnel, civilian employees and fire marshals. The names of the 32 FDNY members — most of them dead of cancer — will forever remain on engraved bronze plates.
The somber event will mark the largest addition of names to the wall since it debuted in 2011. Seventeen names were added last year to the wall of heroes. And 21 were added in 2015 — the largest number of 9/11 cancer victims until this year.
Those remembered Thursday will include Lt. Edith Torres, Firefighter Kevin Rooney and retired Firefighters Paul Santoro, John Dunn and Joseph O’Toole.
Also honored will be FDNY Marine Engineer Robert Alexander, 43, and his father, Lt. Raymond Alexander, 76, who both died of 9/11 cancers in the last year from their time on The Pile. The two are the first father and son to die from 9/11-related illnesses.
Ginger Alexander, who watched her son Robert and husband, Raymond, suffer and die, is expected to attend the solemn ceremony.
“I’m not doing great, I gotta tell you,” she told the Daily News last month. “(But) I will not get into the blame game … It is what it is.”
“A lot of people have lost their husbands and boys,” she said.
Attempts to reach her Wednesday were unsuccessful.
The memorial wall reads, “Dedicated to the memory of those who bravely served this department protecting life and property in the city of New York in the rescue and recovery effort at Manhattan Box 5-5-8087 World Trade Center.”
“The members we honor on our World Trade Center Memorial Wall worked tirelessly in support of the rescue and recovery efforts of the 343 heroes and thousands of innocent victims killed on Sept. 11,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “The 32 members we remember this year were without question brave — they were dedicated and compassionate — and they performed their duties, selflessly and courageously.”
Besides the 343 FDNY personnel, 23 NYPD cops and 37 Port Authority police officers were killed when terrorists flew two hijacked planes into the World Trade Center.
By the end of 2016, 132 additional city cops had died of illnesses that can be linked to their time at Ground Zero, an NYPD spokesman said.
As of last month, the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund has given out $2.8 billion to nearly 17,000 victims suffering from cancers or injuries sustained during the terror attacks.