View Full Version : Our Heros of October

10-13-02, 04:33 PM
The following text is taken from the Feburary/March 2002 issue of the "Root Scoop II" official newsletter of the Beirut Veterans of America.

Beirut vet John Chipura, who was reported in the last "Root Scoop" as missing in the September 11 terriorist attack, did not make it out of Tower 2 alive.
Chipura, along with other members of his New York City Fire Department unit, was last seen assisting in the evacuation of many people from Tower 2.
John was no stranger to terriorism. On Oct 23 1983 he was a 21 year old radio operator on his second tour with the 24th Mau in Beirut when the truck bomb took out the battalion headquarters barracks and killed 241 service men.
His parents, three sisters(including a twin) and a brother did'nt know if he was dead or alive for three days. His younger brother, Gerard, then 15, said,"John was my big brother, the guy I looked up to most in the world, a big, strapping, brave Marine off serving his country."
He dodged death and came home from that tragedy. He didn't speak much about it, according to a report in the New York Daily News after the September 11 attack. He didn't dwell on the fact that he survived because he was leaving the barracks early to assume his post as a radio operator when the bomb exploded. Or that the guy walking behind him was killed.
His experiance persuaded him to spend his post-Marine Corps life as a cop, a boy scout leader and a firefighter. After the Corps, he joined the NYPD, working for 12 years as a beat cop, in narcotics and as a detective. He then transfered to the fire department, following in his fathers footsteps.
A fellow NYFD firefighter introduced him to Gina DeFalco who became his fiancee'. The couple had made arrangements to be married on Oct 29th. John and his twin sister, Susan, had planned a double 40th birthday party for last November.
There was no wedding, no birthday party. On Sept 11th 2001, Chipura and fellow Ladder 105 firefighters responded to the Trade center emergency at 8:54 am. He had earlier tried unsuccessfully to call his twin sister, who worked on the 69th floor of Tower 1. Unconfirmed reports say John was last seen helping people escape from Tower 2 as his sister was escaping from Tower 1.
He lived his life to the end as a hero. His brother Gerard said, "I don't think John ever thought he would live to see anything worse than what he saw that day in beirut." Gerard and his family find solace in the words that John wrote in November 2000, on the occasion of the Corps 225 birthday. He wrote: "WE MARINES ARE TRULY BLESSED. WE GET TO ENJOY THE SWEET TASTE OF THIS FREEDOM BECAUSE WE KNOW ITS PRICE."
John Chipura is remembered by the Beirut Veterans of America, because....

Just thought we should post this again. I have a hard time writing the words from the newsletter as I was at the WTC site and John's brother's remarks are very true, I went my whole life thinking I would never see that type of devastation again but there it was. The hand of evil stretched out over 18years to claim one of our own.

Semper Fi my Brother John! We will never forget!

09-04-04, 07:20 AM
Not Forgoten