Honoring a Struggle
Here is one thing that says a lot about Salvatore B. Calabro: He wore a tattoo of a cross and roses on his right forearm, with the inscription, "In memory of Mom 11- 30-89."
His mother, Connie, struggled to raise him and his two brothers on her own; he never forgot.
Mr. Calabro made his mother proud, a good boy from Bath Beach, Brooklyn, who wore a firefighters' uniform for 14 years, said his father-in-law, Francis Carillo, a retired New York City police officer. Mr. Calabro, 38, built a solid middle class life for his wife, Francene, and two sons, Daniel, 5, and Alexander James, 2.
Another thing that spoke to his essence: He was a good son-in-law. It had nothing to do with toeing the line because he married one of two daughters of a police officer. He was just that way, Mr. Carillo said. "When I met him, I had guarded feelings," said Mr. Carillo. "He was marrying my baby daughter. But as I got to know him, all of that went away. He became the son I never had.
"He was a gentle person, but he had the heart and courage of a lion," Mr. Carillo said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 9, 2001.
SALVATORE CALABRO, 38, of New York, was a firefighter who loved to read about the history and heroes of World War II and the Vietnam War. Always patriotic, he was wearing an American flag patch on his uniform when he responded to the World Trade Center attacks. "The flag was on his uniform sleeve and his turnout coat. He was a real American," said his wife, Francine. A 14-year veteran of the Fire Department, he loved his job but he was happiest watching his young sons grow up. "He was an unbelievable dad," his wife said.
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press