Funeral held for retired firefighter; voice of 9/11 health care
Firefighters lined the streets of Hicksville Friday to pay tribute to FDNY firefighter Ray Pfeifer – who successfully lobbied Congress to pass and then renew the Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act.
Pfeifer, 59, died Sunday after fighting a 9/11-related illness for several years. He had spent eight months working at Ground Zero after the attacks in Downtown Manhattan.
"Ray always did his job by leading by example, even when he was diagnosed with the cancer, he never complained," said ex-Chief Carl Pugliese.
Pfeifer, a 27-year veteran of the FDNY and volunteer with the East Meadow department, took more than a dozen trips to Washington, D.C. to convince lawmakers that 9/11 responders and volunteers needed medical coverage. His fellow Zadroga Act advocate John Feal was in tears, promising to retire his first responders memorial bell and give it to Pfeifer's wife.
"We're going to give Caryn our bell that gets rung after each name is read…and the new bell that goes up will be the Ray Pfeifer Memorial Bell," said Feal.
Comedian Jon Stewart, who also lobbied Congress with Pfeifer, was among those who spoke at Pfeifer's funeral service at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Hicksville.
Pfeifer was laid to rest at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury.