National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 37
Year of Death: 2001

Gary R. Box

Gary R. Box was born on May 12‚ 1964. He was raised by his parents and his grandmother Alyson Box who adored and encouraged him.

Gary attended Wantagh High School‚ where we first met. He was an excellent student who had no lateness or absence on his record. He maintained an A average‚ was an honor student and managed to accelerate and graduate a year early ranking 24 in a class of 391 students.

He attended Delehanty Automotive School and became an auto mechanic from 1984 till 1991. Although he was successful at this career it was not challenging enough for him and he needed a change.

He worked as a tile-setter for his cousins and though he thoroughly enjoyed their company and the trade‚ he wanted more. Upon recommendation from firefighter friends‚ he applied to the New York City Fire Department and became a probationary firefighter in February 1996. Immediately Gary knew he had found the career he had been seeking. His companionable personality‚ great intellect‚ and mechanical abilities all came together in the job.

The training required hard work and dedication‚ nothing suited him better and it was wonderful to see him so interested and engrossed. He would always say a good tour was to fight a fire‚ help somebody‚ or make someone laugh.

If there was ever a dull moment with Gary‚ it meant he fell asleep. The man was tireless and his energy could light up a room. He never stopped moving and doing and talking He was continually expanding his mind and improving his skills. His spirit even through the toughest of times could not be broken. He greeted all with a grand smile and those he knew with arms open wide – quite a wingspan he would say. He had tremendous physical strength and could lift things or climb things with the greatest of ease and did so often. He carried great joy and enjoyed people immensely- he could chat easily and was never a bragger.

Gary’s character was impeccable and he would give great thought to approaching difficult situations. He always wanted to do the right thing in God’s eyes and lived with the utmost integrity. He would joke often and be extremely silly but when a situation called for honesty‚ hard work and/or sacrifice‚ he was ready willing and able to perform at the highest level.

Gary was a dedicated family man.

Being a good and decent husband and father was of utmost importance to him. He worked that much harder at marriage and fatherhood because it was what he wanted to love and be loved unconditionally.

As adults‚ we fell deeply in love‚ married and have two beautiful children Dalton‚ age 5‚ and Brigette‚ age 2‚ at the time of his death. We love him so much and the days and nights and holidays especially feel so quiet without his booming laughter. I’ve never known anyone like him who put all before himself. He’d set aside all his own needs for anyone who needed him – all they had to do was ask.

He was an asset to the FDNY. He was a joy to the family‚ an inspiration to our children.

He was a great man in a world filled with so many selfish beings. I’m sure God saw all his love and hard labor and looks kindly on his soul. A man whose spirit was never broken and whose heart was honest and open and whose love could never be replaced.

We were blessed to have you‚ a time too short but so full of love. We cherish the memories of this great love you shared so openly.

May you live in spirit watching carefully over Dalton and Brigette. They have your joy‚ your energy‚ your strength.

Hope I can keep up.
Love you Always Our Dearest Gary.

Kathleen Box

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. I worked with Gary for a short time and I never met someone so full of life. You were one in a million… God Bless… I will never forget you…

    – Bob Celano
  2. A cousin I never knew but think about every year at this time. May his legacy live long in the minds of his kin. You will be remembered. Rest in Peace brave one.

    – Terry Gilbertson
  3. I had the privilege to climb in Gary’s honor at the Lambeau Field Stair Climb today (9-16-17). To ring the bell and call his name at the 78 floor in memory of his sacrifice on 9/11, 16 years ago. We are forever grateful for your service.

    – John DeClerc
  4. It was an Honor to walk in Gary R. Box’s Name on the First annual Phila., 911 memorial Stair Climb. May God Bless you and your Family,, and may you RIP Gary.

    – David Meehan, Capt., Engine 16, Philadelphia Pa
  5. My wife and I visited the 9/11 Memorial today. We brought a single rose and wanted to place it somewhere. We asked God to show us where to place it and He showed us Gary’s name. We prayed for Gary, his family and friends and everyone there. We read Gary’s story and will keep all of you in our prayers.
    Brad and Tammy Blakemore
    Mineola, Texas

    – Brad Blakemore
  6. 17 years… still miss you Gary

    – Austin Rangel
  7. It was an honor and privilege to climb in Gary’s name at the 2018 JP Taravella 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. I am grateful to all the men and women who risked their lives on that day and continue to every day to keep us safe.

    – Jane Gerada
  8. What a hero. Appreciate your service. Rip

    – Justin Cooper
  9. RIP Gary
    We will never forget

    – Jeff Box
  10. This is beautiful.

    – Harmony McCall
  11. It is great privilege and honour to have known someone with such courage and Charisma in my lifetime.God bless you and the sacrifice you made. God bless your family.
    Rest On In Peace HERO

    – Alloysius Francis
  12. Just heard your story today on the 19th anniversary of 9-11. Wow, a true hero. Prayers for your family and friends. Thank you for your service sir.

    – Lacey Wells
  13. Just wanting to let you know on this 19th year anniversary- Gary’s is not forgotten. I’ve never met or heard his story til today but I will remember him every year from now on.

    – Jaclyn M. Rincon-López
  14. THANK YOU!! Your sacrifice will not be in vain.

    – Jennifer Hewitt
  15. Kathleen, Dalton, and Brigette,

    Today (September 12, 2020), I completed a stair climb and carried a tag with Gary’s name and picture on it. I am honored and proud to help keep his memory alive.

    – Matt Cousins
  16. No words can express the continued loss of this great man.

    – Patricia
  17. What an incredible man and legacy. I am just someone who found his name while looking through memorials and remembering that awful day. This memory is completely touching. May he forever Rest In Peace and watch over his beautiful family until they meet again.

    – Jillian
  18. rest in peace, goat (greatest of all time)!!!

    – cha’von
  19. I never met you, but I love you. I would be supremely honored to find we’re related.

    – Terry Box
  20. Never forget

    – Mark Stordeur
  21. Gary R. Box is a hero by heart which he saved people from fire’s and saved people from 9/11 but now he may rest in peace up in heaven. will never forget you Gary R. Box.

    – Alex
  22. Just climbed 110 flights of stairs at red rocks today wearing your badge in honor. You are not forgotten Gary.

    – Sarah Bergen
  23. Thank you for your service. RIP. I just saw an article about Gary and 9/11 on this 20th Anniversary and wanted to say thank you and God bless his family.

    – Anita
  24. Sending Kathleen and your children strength and love during this difficult day. I can only imagine being a first responder wife. Your husband was an outstanding man. His life was cut far too short, but his spirit lives on through you all and every single one of us that acknowledge his sacrifice. I hope you know that there are many people thinking of him and appreciative for what he did that day.

    – Sarah Bujak
  25. I start probie school tomorrow and I hope to be half the firefighter you were. Thank you for everything. I won’t let you down.

    – David
  26. On Sunday, September 11th, 2022 in Wilmington, NC I climbed 110 floors while carrying a tag with your picture on it, it truly was an honor. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice and you will never be forgotten.

    – Monique Hroncich
  27. I am a fire recruit in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. As a recruit, we are all given Pat Tag’s of a Firefighter who lost their lives on 9/11. We are given these tags to wear as a part of our uniforms every single day to teach us accountability and keep our fallen brother and sisters legacy alive. We are to research and know who we carry on our Pat Tags. I am blessed to wear Gary’s name with pride everyday and consider him my hand picked guardian angel. Almost 22 years later, Gary’s name is still highly recognized in Fire Company’s across the world.

    – Olivia Ponticello
  28. Gary a true hero and a legend. Always remembered

    – Yerenis Blanco
  29. Your bravery and ultimate sacrifice is not forgotten after 22 years. May you rest in the arms of the Lord. God Bless You and your family.

    – Kathleen Philbin
  30. In my thoughts. For 22 Years. We watch the 9/11
    Memorial ceremony,every year. We get up and at the TV by 8 am
    Disappointing as 9/11/23, news cut off hearing
    Gary’s name right before channels cut back to studio.
    I have newspaper photo of Gary on the tunnel.
    My Dad is related to Judd Box.our thoughts are with
    You, still, forever. God Bless, Gary.

    – Kathleen Box Hunter
  31. RIP Gary. Thanks for being such a selfless person.

    – Yaveesh Smotch
  32. May God bless your soul and your family with only health and happiness. The ultimate selfless person. We should all be able to follow in your lead as human beings.

    – Sarah JEMAL
  33. Yesterday after 22 years, I made it across the country to visit ground zero. Not knowing anything about this wonderful angle, the pictures I took was was of his name. As I sat to google his name this site popped up. I am grateful to have met you through your loved ones eyes. May you keep watching over them; and may we be such good people to have people think of us like this after we are gone. Thanks for being a great example. RIP and we can’t thank you enough.

    – Katy S