Yesterday we wrote about the tragedy of 9-11 and the horror that we all felt that day 16 years ago as we watched planes fly into the World Trade Center and the thousands of lives that were lost in New York City, in Washington D.C., and in rural Pennsylvania.

Almost everyone in the country either lost someone they knew or knows someone who lost people that fateful day.

But today we’re going to talk about just one of those people, he was a member of the Special Forces Regiment, a brother, although we never met. He was a member of the New York City Fire Department, a Fire Marshall who answered the call that morning and died comforting those around him in those final minutes. He was helping those people high up in the WTC who were worried that no one would come for them.

Ronald Bucca was everything you’d look for in both a Special Forces soldier and firefighter in the city of New York. Dedicated, relentless, brave and an absolute self-starter, he is the epitome of what made both professions the envy of their different realms in the world.

As a Fire Marshall, Bucca would investigate fires after the fact. But at the station when they got the call that the first Tower was hit, he was ten blocks away. He told his boss James Devery, “Let’s go.”

Bucca joined the Army near the end of the war in Vietnam and was a member of both Military intelligence and SF with the 11th SFG. All told he spent 29 years as a member of the military between his active duty and reserve time. His daughter joked that she learned early never to lie to her father as his intel background would alert him in a second if she wasn’t telling the truth.

Bucca joined the NYFD in the late 1970s and became a member of Rescue One which was a highly specialized part of the Fire Department. In 1986, he somehow survived a five-story fall while trying to help a fellow firefighter. Telephone wires broke his fall but his army training may have saved his life. As he plummeted to the ground, he executed a PLF (parachute landing fall) although he still broke his back and knee in the process. After his miraculous landing, he became known as the “Flying New York City Fireman”