NEW YORK (NBC) — Three-hundred and one graduates joined the ranks of the New York City Fire Department, Tuesday.
Among them, 21 new firefighters who lost their fathers on 9/11 and in the aftermath of the terrorist attack cleanup.
The applause for those 21 newly appointed firefighters went on for 30 seconds.
Kenneth Kumpel was one of those fathers. Two of his sons graduated during the ceremony.
Of those 301 graduates, 120 were veterans, and 16 were women. It was the second largest class ever for the FDNY.
This is the largest group of legacies to graduate, and they were reminded that they are now part of something much larger than themselves.
“Always remember how our department makes a difference in every single community, every single day. As New York City firefighters, you will make a difference,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.