NEW YORK — The memorial service for Major Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis, one of two FDNY firefighters who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq, is taking place Thursday.
Zanetis and Fire Department Lt. Christopher Raguso were among seven people who died earlier this month when their helicopter crashed at the Iraq-Syria border.
His sister, Angela, said it was his third tour.
“He had been in Afghanistan twice and did not have to be there this time, which is very bittersweet for our family,” Angela Zanetis said.
Zanetis was not only part of the Air National Guard’s 106 Rescue Wing, but also an NYU graduate, an FDNY fire marshal, a Stanford Law School graduate and, most recently, an associate at a New York law firm. He was also gay, and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ issues.
Loved ones said he accomplished more in 37 years than some people do in a lifetime.
Thursday’s “Celebration of Life” ceremony is taking place at Washington Square Park. Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray are among those in attendance.
Watch the service below: