Captain Thomas J. Farino

*
Remembering September 11, 2001


Watching the events unfold that day was the same for me as it was for millions of viewers worldwide. I sat in stunned silence with tears flowing, unbelieving at first, until reality set in. I prayed, with all my heart, for complete strangers–until now. It is my privilege to introduce to you a remarkable young man–Captain Thomas J. Farino, Engine Company 26, of the New York Fire Department.


On September 11, 2001, 342 fire fighters rushed into the burning inferno others were fleeing in an effort to escape, and they lost their lives that fateful day. Thomas Farino was one of them. His co-workers describe him as having been fearless, confident, and in control. From what I’ve found about him, I believe he never took a thought for his own safety, and if he would have known what was going to happen that day, I don’t think he wouldn’t have hesitated for a second to continue trying to save the lives of others.


Thomas was the youngest of six boys in his family. Following in the footsteps of his father and one of his brothers, he joined the NYPD, and served for two years before becoming a firefighter. He was known for being self-assured and having a great sense of humor. His confidence inspired his co-workers, who felt safe when he was with them.


His wife, Mary, describes him as a rock on which she built her life. For much of their 20 years together, he encouraged her to love him all she wanted, to want him all she wanted, but not to need him so much. He wanted her to derive her strength from someone higher than himself. After the attack, she realized how prophetic his words were to her.


Because of the nature of his job, Captain Farino was able to spend quality time with his children, Jane and James. They loved him, and they miss him. For a time after 911, they would ask their mother if they could go look for him. James even slept with his father’s captain hat. Theirs is a loss many of us will never be able to comprehend. The following is a message his children placed at the periphery of the World Trade Center, which read:


“To Daddy
I love you more than forever. I am glad for two reasons. One reason is that I am happy God is making you happy. Also my second reason is that you died in a very honorable way and the world thinks and is thankful that you saved people and you are a hero.
Thank you Dad.”


To Mary, Jane and James, I can truly say I am sorry for your loss, for the hurt and the pain. In this short time, with all I’ve come to know about this extraordinary man, I wish with all my heart I could have had the honor of knowing him.
Thomas Farino, thank you for your dedication, your commitment, and your inspiration. You are a true hero…you are my hero.


*Photo courtesy of Francisco Daum and Engine Co. 26

10 thoughts on “Captain Thomas J. Farino

  1. An amazing tribute for an amazing man. ..thankyou for letting me meet Thomas, and for coming by and reading my tribute to Marisa.Kelly, a fellow 2996erI remember Marisa DiNardo Schorpp

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  2. This is wonderful tribute Mid. Every time I read one I start crying and then I have go offline and have some ice cream before coming back for more.I too hope that his family is able to stop by and see the great job you did on his tribute.Big Hugs 🙂

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  3. Mid, Sorry it took so long for me to comment, and this was just beautiful. You did a wonderful job on this, and it really touched my heart. His family would be so proud that others could see how wonderful a man he was. Thank you for doing this. As always, anything you write is excellent.Hugs,Katie

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  4. Hello Mid, I am Tom’s sister inlaw, as he was married to my sister Mary. She formed the BC Thomas J. Farino Scholarship Fund in memory of Tom, and we gave out the first two scholarships tonight in his honor. I was thinking about as I got home, and found your post. It gives me great pleasure knowing how people who come across information about him get so touched and inspired to write great things, as you have. As the family, friends, and the people who did know him have been touched and honored to have had the greatest oportunity of knowing him!!! Thank you , Debbie

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  5. Hello Mid, I am Tom’s sister inlaw, as he was married to my sister Mary. She formed the BC Thomas J. Farino Scholarship Fund in memory of Tom, and we gave out the first two scholarships tonight in his honor. I was thinking about as I got home, and found your post. It gives me great pleasure knowing how people who come across information about him get so touched and inspired to write great things, as you have. As the family, friends, and the people who did know him have been touched and honored to have had the greatest oportunity of knowing him!!! Thank you , Debbie

    Like

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