The process has begun to rename a Bronx traffic triangle to formally honor a local hero who bravely gave his life to help those in need on September 11, 2001.
Port Authority Officer Dominick Pezzulo began his career as an auto mechanic and a body shop and special education teacher at Lehman High School, helping to shape the lives of young Bronxites and inspiring them to do better and stay out of trouble.
“One of my brother’s friends would watch me work on my car and tell me all about this amazing teacher, Mr. Pezzulo, and how great he was and how much he helped him,” said Anthony Piscotta.
Pezzulo left Lehman to join the Port Authority, just a short while before the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers.
His bravery and determination was apparent when Puzzulo, along with his co-workers, were called out of the bus terminal to assist at Ground Zero. Pezzulo courageously volunteered to go in to help rescue people from the South Tower, but while inside was struck by debris when the structure collapsed.
In a last selfless act to help others, Pezzulo fired off his pistol to alert people of his location, saving the life of a fellow officer.
“I’m extremely proud of him,” said Jeanette Pezzulo. “Of course I wish he didn’t even volunteer to do what he did. I wish he didn’t listen and tried to get himself out, but the circumstances being what they were, and him being him, he wouldn’t have done anything else and I am very proud of him for that.”
After reading of Pezzulo’s heroic tale and recognizing the name, Pisciotta, who also volunteered during 9/11, sought out Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s assistance in honoring Pezzulo’s service on that tragic day.
“Officer Pezzulo was a hero by every definition of the word. As a teacher, he helped countless young people choose the right path in life. As a Port Authority police officer, he exhibited bravery beyond most people’s comprehension, paying the ultimate sacrifice while helping rescue others at Ground Zero,” said Vacca. “We should never miss an opportunity to honor someone who gave so much of himself. He inspired so many in life, and my hope is that this tribute will allow him to continue inspiring others for many years to come.”
On Thursday, September 17, Community Board 10 took the first step by approving the renaming of the traffic triangle, located across from Lehman High School.
“I’m very honored and I think this spot is very appropriate spot because the school was very meaningful to my husband. It was a big part of his life,” said Jeanette Pezzulo. “It meant a lot for him to be able to teach there and I’m very proud and very honored they chose that spot.”
©2009 Community News Group