Local act of kindness makes 9/11 difference

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Small acts of kindness do not go unnoticed. In December 2001, after the World Trade Center disaster, Tricia Holland’s third grade class at Cavour Elementary decided to reach out to the firefighters of New York City. They each made a Christmas tree ornament and mailed them off.

The World Trade Center disaster of 2001 affected countless people in shock and sadness and rage. Firefighters received many different items, thoughts and prayers. Callie Gross, a Cavour third-grader at the time, sent a Christmas ornament that reached NYC Firefighter Jules Segot.

Segot, a retired New York City firefighter from Engine Company 69, has been hanging Gross’s ornament on his tree for nineteen years. He decided that it was time to thank her. Segot sent a thank you card to Cavour Elementary, which had closed in 2002 after a new elementary wing was built in Iroquois. The card was then delivered to the Iroquois School.

In an effort to reach out to Segot, staff found his email address on an internet search of NYC firefighters.

Replying to the Journal’s inquiry, Segot stated, “As you can imagine, we have a lot of fire houses in this city, and my fire house is way uptown (Harlem). We were receiving gifts from all over the country donated by school children. Boxes of gloves, socks and even handmade Christmas ornaments. I picked up a couple of ornaments, and Callie's was one of them. If you can, please tell her that her thoughtfulness was very much appreciated.”

“After the WTC disaster, the whole country came together to mourn, pray and remember,” said Segot.

He said that whenever they responded to any call, day or night, they were met with cheers and flag waving, and he was always touched by the love and caring.

“Those were very sad times for our city and great country, and we have rebounded,” stated Segot. “Sadly, I lost a lot of good friends on that terrible day.”

Segot retired almost 19 years ago after 32 years of service. Although he still resides in NYC, he has a cabin upstate where he spends time fishing, hunting and gardening. Service is definitely part of the family, as one son works as a police officer, and the other is an EMT. Four grandchildren, ages 21, 14, 2 and 6 weeks help to keep him feeling young.

Callie Gross is the daughter of Kyle and Kim Gross of Iroquois. She presently lives and works in Charolotte, N.C. as a marriage and family therapist. Tricia Haarstad Holland teaches 6th grade reading and science at De Smet Middle School.

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