JOHN CHIPURA: For Camaraderie's
a 1981 stint in Beirut with the United States Marines,
John Chipura wanted to serve the city of his birth by
becoming a New York City policeman, and rose through the
ranks for more than a decade to the rank of
But Mr. Chipura yearned for the camaraderie of the
firehouse; his brother, Gerard, was a fireman, as their
father, Anthony, had been. In August, 1998, Mr. Chipura
achieved his dream.
Thus it was that on Tuesday, after the terrorist
attack, suiting up with Ladder Company 105 on Dean Street
in Brooklyn, that John phoned his fianc*e, Gina DeFalco,
to ask if she had any news of his sister Nancy, who
worked in the World Trade Center.
"There wasn't any news," said Ms. DeFalco, "but later,
when I heard that Nancy was safe, I called John to tell
him. But his ladder company had already left." John and
the five other firefighters in the truck have not been
heard from since. Gerard Chipura, who survived, waits
along with Ms. DeFalco, who refuses to give up hope; she
and Mr. Chipura planned to marry on Oct. 27.
"The only good thing," she said, "is that he is with
the guys he worked with, and loved."