Speaking His Mind
Gregory Saucedo was marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade last year when he came across some men he knew. "He said, 'This guy's a great guy, this guy's a great guy, this guy I just don't like,'" said Dave Simoes, a childhood friend and fellow firefighter.
Firefighter Saucedo, who happened to be the self-proclaimed bench-press champ of the Ladder Company 5 stationhouse in SoHo, was not much of a diplomat. But "he was much the same way in telling you that he did like you and what he did like about you," Firefighter Simoes said.
After losing both his parents, Firefighter Saucedo drew strength from ties to his three older brothers. On his muscular arm he displayed a tattoo of a gnarly oak tree with four outsized branches, and in his life he displayed absolute candor. Strength and devotion are cousins, and Firefighter Saucedo was the kind of guy who would jog with a hangover.
Now his brothers collect scraps of information about the time Firefighter Saucedo spent inside the World Trade Center, documenting the way that cultivated strength was put to its final use. "The last 90 minutes of his life were extremely important," said Christopher Saucedo. "The family is wrapped up in that moment of terrible sadness and tremendous pride."
At least, he said, there is "nobody wondering, 'How did Greg feel about me?'"
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 15, 2001.