[This year, as with previous years, I am posting a memorial for Ronald Paul Bucca, the only NYFD Fire Marshall to die the course of duty -- that duty being helping to save people in the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. I can add nothing to this tribute by his mother, Astrid Bucca, written a year after his death -- except my condolences to her.]
In 1978 he joined the Fire Department where he served with Engine 95, Ladder 2, the Fitness Unit on Randalls Island and Rescue 1.
In 1986 while fighting a fire he fell five stories. He broke his back and kneecaps and was in a body brace for six months. Just a week later he returned to his fire unit, Rescue 1. Later he became a fire marshal, was with the department for 23 years, the last nine as a fire marshal.
In 1973 he joined the Army active duty for two years with the 101st Airborne and chosen “Soldier of the Month” in 1974. When he was discharged he joined the Army Reserve, that he was still in for 29 years. He served in the Special Forces, Green Berets and the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 2001 he was promoted to Warrant Officer, U.S.A.R.
He led a very active life and since his fall in 1986 he didn’t waste a minute, accomplished many things he wanted to do.
He was a fireman, soldier, Lic. Practical Nurse, adventurer and could talk about almost any subject. Historian of the Civil War, did archaeology work in Spain, collector of model trains, metal toy soldiers, scuba certified, physically fit.
He was a fun loving, compassionate person who would do anything for you if possible, always there to help a relative, friend or even a stranger.
I cannot find the words to express how we felt and got through this year. Seems like a dream or nightmare. I can still see him coming up the path to visit us. I say “Good night” to him and “Good morning Ron” to his picture every day.
He left his lovely wife Even, children Jessica and Sonnie, he was their Dad, best friend and always there for them. Happy memories they have with their Dad. I don’t know how our daughter-in-law did it, but she was a tower of strength for us all even with a broken heart and we love her.
Ronald had two brothers, Robert and Alfred, his wife Celeste, son Joey and his family. A cousin “Firefighter” Frank Fiore who was like Ron’s third brother. They hurt every day.
As for my husband Joe, I see the pain in his face, he suffers every day. We’re just not the same people these days. A big part in our lives is gone. Ron had so much going for him and planning for his retirement.
He’ll always be with us. Till we meet again Ron. God bless. Love ya! Mom, Dad & family. Greatly missed by everyone. Families of Samuelson, Fiore, Mitchells, Buccas
We would like to take this opportunity to say our sincerest “thank you” to all the uniform, construction and civilian workers for all they did at “Ground Zero” all those months, also on Staten Island.
Our son Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca was on the 78th floor of Tower 2 along with Batt. Chief Palmer when it collapsed. They found Ronald’s remains on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2001 and he was buried on Saturday, Nov. 10. He was found in a stairwell with some other people.
We are thankful they found him and that we have a place to visit and talk to him as I know he’s watching us and waiting for us up in heaven. God bless all those who perished and their families.
Astrid Bucca & family,
[Other tributes to Ron Bucca over the past 9 years can be found here.]