After 15 painstaking years, the remains of an FDNY chief killed on September 11, 2001, have finally been buried.
Two vials of blood that Battalion Chief Lawrence T. Stack donated to the New York Blood Center just over a year prior to his passing were placed in a casket Friday in Long Island and buried.
In December 2001, the devout Catholic’s family held a memorial for the fallen hero who perished in the attacks on 9/11. Since his body was never recovered, his family was unable to have a proper religious burial.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro attended the service, along with hundreds of friends and family at Saints Philip and James Roman Catholic Church in the town of St. James.
One of the late chief’s sons, Lt. Michael Stack, also an FDNY firefighter, told The New York Times: “Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years. Two years turned into five, turned into 10. Now it’s 15.”
The chief’s casket arrived draped in the American flag as two fire trucks lifted their ladders and cherry pickers in the air to hang Old Glory over the street.
After holding out hope for more than a decade that his body would be recovered at Ground Zero, they decided to contact the New York Blood Center in West Islip, New York, where the chief’s blood had been stored.
Stack and his wife, Theresa, donated the blood to help a child in nearby East Islip, New York, who had cancer, according to the Times. Lawrence Stack’s blood was never used and has sat in a freezer for 16 years.
The family told the Blood Center their story and the vials were turned over to the Stacks for burial.
The New York Blood Center wrote on their Facebook page: “To the family of FDNY Lieutenant Michael Stack, Ladder 176: It is our honor to help bring peace to your dignified, FDNY family. Our thoughts are with you today. Your father, FDNY Battalion Chief Larry Stack, can rest in peace now because you can, too.”
The 58-year-old firefighter served nearly 33 years for New York’s Bravest. Both of his sons are currently firemen in the FDNY.