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A National Honor For Ex-Chief

On Saturday, the International Association of Fire Fighters held its annual Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colo. to honor the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, including one from South Queens.

More than 1,200 firefighters from across the United States formed the honor guard as the families of 168 fallen firefighters were presented with the ceremonial union flag. This is the 28th year that the IAFF has conducted this ceremony. It is a time of reflection for many families as they remembered their loved ones who answered their last alarm.

This year, a former Howard Beach resident had his name placed on the wall during the ceremony.

West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department’s ex-chief Kevin M. Delano Sr.’s name was placed on the wall in the Colorado Rockies. “Buck,” as he was affectionately known, was a New York City firefighter from Ozone Park’s Ladder Company 142. He responded, as many of his brothers and sisters, to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and remained on the mound for days during the rescue and recovery effort.

His reward was not pretty. Shortly after, Delano was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of leukemia that eventually took his life in 2008.