The trio were just kids 20 years ago when their FDNY fathers died: Two during the 9/11 terrorist attack, and the third only a few days earlier while on the job.
Sons Jonathan Otten, Gary Watson and Andrew Gorumba will proudly join the Class of 2021 in graduating Wednesday from the FDNY Fire Academy, with each inspired by their heroic dads and determined to follow in their footsteps as members of the department that embraced all three in the dark days after their fathers passed away. “Since I came into the academy, I’ve done this for him,” said namesake son Gary Watson, 28. “He helped me push through on the tough days. For the rest of my career, I’ll be doing this for him, to make him proud.”
Watson and Otten, also 28, are the 9/11 legacies joining the department, while Gorumba’s dad died Aug. 28, 2001, from a heart attack while battling a three-alarm blaze at a Staten Island auto body shop.