Thursday, September 9, 2010

Final picture of WTC hero

Dad finds tragic son in new Web archive

By TOM TOPOUSIS Box has spent eight years coping with the death of his firefighter son at the World Trade Center -- but that didn't prepare him for what he saw posted to a new online archive of photos and videos about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Scrolling through the archive, Box came face to face with his son, Gary Box, a firefighter with Brooklyn's Squad 1, who was captured by a digital camera lugging his gear through a traffic-clogged Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel on his way to Ground Zero.

It's the last known photo of Gary Box, then 35, who died an hour later in the toppling towers. His remains were never recovered.

"I walked out of the room and fell on the floor," the elder Box said of discovering the photo in the online archive being assembled by the World Trade Center Memorial Museum, which has collected 3,000 images and videos in just two months.

"It was a shock emotionally, yet a blessing to find this photo," says Box, 66, now of Weirsdale, Fla. His voice quaking with emotion from recounting his discovery of the photo, Box said he can no longer bring himself to look at it...

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