Although life took two neighborhood boys in different directions, Lt. Colonel William DeMaso USAF a neighborhood boy who graduated Our Lady of Hope School put his life on the line while flying sorties over Iraq. The other neighborhood boy, Michael Weinberg, who lived across from Our Lady of Hope School, joined the New York City Fire Department and became a hero in a twisted act of fate on 9/11/2001. I note a twisted act of fate because Michael who was on vacation was about to tee off at the Forest Park Golf Course when the first plane struck the north tower of The World Trade Center while his sister Patricia worked on the 72nd floor at the WTC.

Patricia called home to let her father know she was alive and safe. Michael checked in for duty and headed for the Trade Center to help save his sister and other victims. The Weinberg family did not learn of Michael’s demise until the next day.

Lt. Colonel William DeMaso the proud sponsor of the 9/11/01 Memorial Banner in memory of Fire Fighter Michael Weinberg said that upon his return to the United States he would like to present the Weinberg family with the American Flag he displayed in the cockpit of his plane on his combat missions over Iraq.

Indeed, Colonel DeMaso is the “ultimate patriot” while in harms way he is thinking about honoring a neighborhood hero who lost his life in the tragic rescue operation at the World Trade Center on 09/11/01. This photo taken on June 22, 2003 in front of Our Lady of Hope School at Michael Weinberg Way shows members of the Juniper Park Civic Association gathered with the two families. Lt. Colonel DeMaso is in the center with Patricia Gambino Weinberg on his left and Fire Fighter John Weinberg on his right. Kay DeMaso is hanging on to the little ones.