Monday, September 11, 2006

Fred V. Morrone

Ferdinand Morrone was a husband, a father, and a grandfather. He was sixty-three years old when he was murdered by Islamic terrorists in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

In interviews given after his death, his wife Linda, remembered him as a man who lived his job but managed to live his family life as well.

Morrone held a bachelor's degree in political science from Stockton State College and a master's in public administration from Rider University. His first job in law enforcement was with the Franklin Township Police Department, and he joined the New Jersey State Police in 1963. He had a reputation as a driven investigator and retired from the force a lieutenant colonel.

On the morning of September 11th 2001 Freddie was miles away from the WTC, but Morrone, who was Superintendent of Police for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, left the safety of his office in Jersey City and rushed to midtown Manhattan the moment he heard that a plane had crashed into the north tower.

No one who knew him was surprized that Freddie Morrone would jump right in, taking command of the rescue operation. Witnesses last put him on the 45th floor, heading upward, as he encouraged the employees on their way down.

Morrone spent most of his career as a New Jersey State Trooper. One of his last assignments as a State Trooper was assisting the FBI in the investigation of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

By the time he became head of the Port Authority three years later, Morrone, along with good friend Noel Cunningham, had been quietly campaigning for stricter maritime security measures. The two were worried about a group of Islamic radicals called "al Qaeda". As the memory of the 1993 attack faded in the minds of Americans, and while no further attacks took place on US soil, calls for greater security went unheard.

The Port Authority has 1,300 officers who patrol bridges, tunnels, airports, a bus terminal, marine terminals and the PATH rail system. The force is the 26th largest police department in the nation. Morrone is credited initiativing many improvements in security and efficiency within the Authority, most of which were the result of his concerns about terrorism. He created a residential training program at the Port Authority Police Academy. He toughened training standards for new recruits. He helped create the International School for Airport and Seaport Security, and implemented a program for training officers to use portable heart defibrillators. Morrone established bike patrols at airports, a scuba team, a Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit, an Airborne Services Unit and a Motorcycle Unit.

His family has said in media interviews that Freddie was just learning to relax a little and play some golf. Beyond the job, they knew Mr.Morrone a guy who tried to get to 6:30 a.m. mass as often as he could, a man who demanded the most of himself while showing understanding for the frailties of others, a man who thought outside his own needs in order to fill the needs of family, friends or employees. He was quick to listen and deliberate in action.

Freddie Morrone's life and selfless actions on September 11th have been memorialized in tributes and awards.

The IAASP's Fred Morrone Education Fund

The New Jersey State Law Enforcement Purple Heart

A high-speed ferry was Christened in his name, in honour of the 36 Port Authority officers who died on 9/11.

The tributes to the dead of September 11, and the stories of the survivors, tell of men and women who achieved, who accomplished great and good things, who worked and succeeded. They are people whose lives did, and continue to make a positive difference in the world.

The hijackers didn't realize that it isn't how a person dies that makes him a hero or gives blessings, it's how a person lives. People like Freddie Morrone knew that, and lived it.

To read more tributes to victims of 9/11, visit:

canadianna

21 comments:

sharon said...

Wow... powerful stuff. Tribute does real justice to the man... I'm so impressed by all I've seen so far, even humbled. Really brings home how many special people we lost on that day.

Sue said...

Absolutely phenomenal tribute to an incredible man. This exercise has been so important in bringing home what should have been forefront...the people's stories.

Thanks for giving Freddie his voice back today.

Em said...

Thanks for this. I'm proud of all the bloggers who have posted tributes.

Jen said...

What an amazing man! We are all poorer because of his loss.

Thanks for stopping by to help remember Anna Williams Allison today.

brian said...

Thank you for writing this tribute to a man whose first and last thoughts were for others. Truely a hero who lives on in our hearts.

Please stop by my tribute for Gilbert and leave a link and comment so that others can come here to read.

Karmyn R said...

Another great tribute to a true hero! Too many lives were lost that day. It's been hard reading today. Thank you.

Mandy said...

Very nice tribute. We will never forget!

Raggedy said...

Wonderful Tribute!
Thank you.
These are sad and hard to read....
I am honored to be a part of this project.
Mine is posted also...

The 2996 link is down. I have a new link on my site to view the participants.

Bless you...

Ma said...

Great tribute that is well written. Thank you for sharing this magnificent person with us.

Thank you for stopping by. And may peace be upon everyone who perished and to their families who have suffered the loss.

Katherine said...

That was a wonderful tribute, thanks for participating in this amazing project. Thanks for stopping by my tribute to Marjorie C. Salamone.

Teena said...

What a lovely tribute! Thank you for participating. These people are no longer just a name to us anymore.

Mine's up. I had the honour of remembering three men from the GTA.

Jason said...

Thanks for the great tribute!

Biker Betty said...

A wonderful tribute on Fred Morrone. Thank you for taking the time to do this tribute on a 9/11 Hero. Thank you for the kind words on my tribute.

The 2,996 Tribute projects is such a great idea to remember those who lost their lives, that they won’t be forgotten. That was a horrible day and tragic event. I did a tribute to Chief Battalion William J. McGovern, firefighter.

For anyone needing it, I have an alternate link as the 2,996 original link is down at the moment.

Jay T. said...

Beautiful tribute. I've lost count of how many of these I've read, and they don't get any easier.

My tribute was to Harry Ramos, who died comforting a complete stranger.

Chi said...

What a wonderful, touching tribute to another of the exceptional heroes of 9-11. Thank you very much for sharing Freddie's life with us and thank you, also for visiting my tribute .

Ms. Vickie said...

Wow what a wonderful man Freddie was, thank you for sharing his life with us. One thing reading all these tributes have done for me is remind me that these are real people not just numbers but individuals with families and friends it has brought them home to me. I have a picture of the life they lived.
I am so proud to have been a part of this.

Undercover Angel said...

What a beautiful tribute. Such a tragedy and so many beautiful lives lost...

Kiki said...

This was a wonderful tribute. You are very right,... it is about how a person lives, not how they die, that matters! I hope I did as much justice to my own tribute, Teresa Martin.

Spitfire said...

Hi CA,

My tributee also worked for Port Authority.

What a great job CA!

michelle said...

I just sat stunned reading that he drove into the city AFTER the first plane hit to help. What a true hero. What was especially shocking was that he knew of al quaeda's danger...that took my breath away for a second.

You are so right...it's not how we die, but how we live...great insight.

Thank you for this incredible tribute to a real hero.

My tribute to Dominick Berardi is still posted.

simoncat said...

Wonderful tribute, Canadi Anna..I was overwhlmed to see the number of bloggers, American and Canadian, who posted 2996 tributes on Sept 11. It is important to remember what happened that day, and the innocent lives that were lost.