Michael Cammarata

Michael Cammarata
World Trade Center

'Don't Mourn Me'

A day after Michael Cammarata died in the attack on the World Trade Center, his brother, Joseph, went through his things looking for a birth certificate. On the top drawer of Michael's night table, Joseph found a letter -- the kind of letter that a brother never wants to read. It was a what-to-do list in case something happened to him.

No. 1 on the list: "Take care of Jenna," referring to his girlfriend of seven years.

No. 2: "Don't mourn me. This is the career I chose."

Michael Cammarata, 22, was a firefighter with Ladder Company 11 in Manhattan. He died on the ninth week of a 14-week training program. He lived with his parents in Huguenot, Staten Island.

No. 3: "Make my spirit live on."

No. 4: "Remember I love you all and will be waiting for you upstairs."

From the time he was 7, Michael Cammarata wanted to be a firefighter. He was fascinated by fire engines and trucks. In his fireman's test, which he took with his brother, Michael got a perfect score; Joseph did not.

"They wanted to be together," his mother, Linda Cammarata said of her two sons. "Thank God they didn't."

Joseph, 24, is a police officer. On Jan. 14, he, too, will join the Fire Department.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 16, 2001.

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