RIDGEWOOD - More than 400 first responders died at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. The son of one of those responders now lives in Ridgewood, and spoke to News 12 New Jersey about marking 15 years since his father's untimely death.
Frank Palombo was a Brooklyn firefighter who worked at Ladder Company 105 for more than 20 years. He left behind a wife and 10 children after he was killed at the World Trade Center.
"It was just a strange day," said Joe Palombo, one of Frank's sons. "I think the days after that is when I realized my dad's not coming home, my life is going to be different forever."
He was 12 when his father was killed.
The Freedom Scholarship Fund was quickly established after the attacks for the children of Sept. 11 victims, allowing him and all of his siblings to attend any college of their choice with all expenses paid.
Now with a master's degree in accounting from Pace University and a job as an accountant in New York City, Palombo spends his extra time helping to raise money for Sept. 11 children like himself through charity work and running marathons.
"One of my dad's favorite movies was Pay It Forward, I think that's how I've lived my life," he told News 12. "I've received so much and I definitely have the desire to pay it forward."
Palombo is a junior board member with "Tuesday's Children," a nonprofit serving families of first responders affected by Sept. 11. He plans to run the Berlin Marathon and make donations for every mile to raise awareness for the organization.