Retired NYC Fire Lieutenant shares experience on 9/11 and memory of his late brother

Remembering 9/11

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the annual tradition to honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost carried on in Downtown Syracuse.

On Saturday morning, the city held its annual remembrance ceremony at the Fayette Firefighter’s Memorial Park.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, Syracuse Fire Chief Michael Monds, and Police Chief Kenton Buckner all took part in the private ceremony, which included a candle lighting and 17 minute period of silence marking the time between the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Members of the Syracuse Fire Department and Syracuse Police Department honored their fallen comrades and 9/11 first responders.

NewsChannel 9’s Adrienne Smith spoke with a retired New York City Fire Lieutenant who now calls Manlius home. David Fullam played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes at Saturday’s remembrance ceremony in Syracuse.

On the morning of 9/11, Lieutenant Fullam was on duty in the Bronx. He and his fire engine had just returned to the station after going on a standard call.

“We just came back from a simple call, put some food on the stove and I walked over to House Watch and looked over to the TV, saw what was happening,” Fullam explained.

Fullam’s initial thought? His crew would be sent to the World Trade Center after both Twin Towers were struck by hijacked planes.

“We loaded everything on the rig,” Fullam said. “We didn’t know if we were gonna get sent there or how long we would be there so we prepped ourselves for the day.”

“We were willing to go if called,” — Lieutenant David Fullam

Instead, his engine company was sent to Midtown, Manhattan. Most people would consider Fullman lucky, but he says he was ready and willing to make the climb.

“That’s what we do. Anybody on duty that day or even home…we all would have started up those stairs to do our job,” Fullam explained.

343 New York City firefighters were killed on that tragic day. 254 other members of the FDNY have since died from health complications related to the 9/11 recovery efforts.

One of those fallen heroes is David’s brother, Lieutenant Martin T. Fullam. He passed away in January of 2013.

He spent a lot of time at the World Trade Center site. At the time, his testimony in Washington was given in front of Congress for the Zadroga Bill. He was considered one of the worst impacted by his 9/11 illness. He had a double-lung replacement. He had another autoimmune disorder called polymyositis, which would later cause him to reject his lung.

David Fullam, Retired FDNY Lieutenant

He fought the good fight and even two weeks before he passed, I remember being on the couch with him at his house, kind of discussing what happened. He said, ‘Dave, we’re the lucky ones. We get to watch our daughters grow up.”

David Fullam, Retired FDNY Lieutenant

This glimpse of the Fullam brothers’ story, is just one of many that shaped our country. A story of dedication and service which reminds us all to Never Forget.

Watch the full City of Syracuse 9/11 ceremony by clicking the player below…

To read more about Lieutenant Martin Fullam, click here for his “Roll of Honor” on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation website.

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