National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 39
Year of Death: 2001

Michael G. Montesi

Michael Montesi loved being a firefighter‚ and was extremely proud to be a member of the elite Rescue Company 1. He was always pondering the issues that the unit faced. He created a small air pack that could be strapped onto a trapped person’s face. The packs are still carried in the Rescue 1 Truck.

He was the Daily News Hero of the Month in August 1999. He rescued a man in the Hudson River. He groped around in the black water until he was able to pull the man to safety‚ even though he was not wearing his air tank. It was a great feeling for him. He loved to scuba dive‚ but with three kids‚ he devoted his time to family.

Michael was a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of New Hyde Park‚ Long Island‚ for 13 years‚ and a volunteer firefighter with the Central Valley Fire Department for 2 years.

At age 5‚ he owned his first fire helmet‚ and he waited years for a call from the Fire Department. He received the call in 1988‚ and was assigned to Ladder Company 10 across from the World Trade Center.

Michael was extremely mechanical. He could fix anything. Mike was a trained plumber. Whenever he was around‚ you felt safe. He was very smart‚ cautious and level-headed. If something went wrong‚ everyone in the family turned to Mike. He could always be depended on.

He was an excellent cook‚ who enjoyed preparing meals for family and friends. He also loved the praise he received for his efforts.

Michael met his wife Nancy in September of 1989 when she and a friend stopped by a firehouse at the South Street Seaport to ask for directions to the George Washington Bridge. He and a group of buddies from Ladder Co. 10 had also stopped by the same firehouse to pick up their cars which were parked there. On the way home‚ Nancy told her girlfriend‚ ‘I think I am going to marry that man.’ He called the next morning and they were married in March of 1993.

As much as he loved being a firefighter‚ he adored his three sons Matthew now 7 1/2‚ Ian 6 and Ryan 4. He was extremely proud of their every accomplishment. He would always say to Nancy‚ ‘This is what it is all about.’ When Mike walked in the door‚ the boys were all over him. All you could hear throughout the house was ‘Daddy‚ Daddy‚ Daddy.’

Matthew‚ his oldest son‚ was learning to play hockey‚ a sport Mike loved‚ and he was the assistant coach. He was going to get early relief on 9/11; Matthew had a game‚ and he promised him that he would be there. He never let the boys down.

Michael and his wife sold their home August 1‚ 2001. Mike was extremely thrilled to be building a new home. On September 11th only the foundation was in the ground. It was his dream house. It was to be built on a beautiful 1.5 acre lot. Unfortunately‚ he was never able to see it. His wife Nancy believes that it was one of Michael’s final acts of love for his family. He found the place that he wanted his wife and children to settle.

Michael also leaves behind his parents Margaret and George Montesi‚ his sister Maria Lauria and many nieces and nephews.

He will forever remain in their hearts.

Nancy Montesi

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. I am a retired firefighter, I served with Strathclyde Fire Brigade in Scotland. I now live in California and recently went on a memorial hike organized by the local fire department which raised money for the families of fallen firefighters. We hiked up a hill that is about the same height as the World Trade Center. Some of the firefighters there did the hike in full kit. We were each given a photograph of a fireman that gave his life at the WTC. I was given Michael’s. His picture sits on my desk, actually it is on an ornamental fire truck that I have. I speak to him each day. I wanted to find out more about Michael which is why I am on this website. I know his family will never forget him. Neither will I.

    – Stephen Clark
  2. My son has recently joined the Firefighting world and is doing the 9-11 stair climb in Kansas City on Sept. 13, 2015. The list of who they are climbing for was recently posted and my son is climbing for Michael. I have to say this is one of the proudest moments in my life for my son. He has found a passion in Firefighting and I know he is going to do his absolute best to honor the life of Michael and pay tribute to both him and his family. As much as my heart wishes the events leading to this Stair Climb event had never taken place, I am happy that my son will get to be a part of this tribute and honor for those who were there and for those who were left behind! May God Bless each and every family, both in the homes of the fallen, and in their firehouses, as those in the firehouse are just as much family. I feel like God has joined my son with Michael and that my son will now have a Guardian Angel as he continues to serve as a Firefighter. MAY WE NEVER FORGET!

    – Tina Fowler
  3. Mike and Nancy Mntessi were wonderful neighbors and friends. Mike came to do plumbing work while making our home into a mother/ daughter in Highland Mills. He passed a photo on my wall with my son Nick as a toddler wearing an Engine 35/Ladder 14 helmet. I happened to be visiting my father Angelo DeCelie in his firehouse in Harlem that day when the pics were being taken of all the firemen. Mike said ” I have that same photo of me in my house”! Turns out we were neighbors all that time and didn’t know they worked together. He happened to he a great plumber too! Ironically my son has recently passed in a terrible car accident at the age of 24. I know it still must be so hard for the Montessi family, and I think of Nancy and the boys often. Especially this time of year. ❤️

    – Juliana Kay
  4. Mrs Montesi and Family,
    I’m a volunteer firefighter with Snyder FD in Amherst, a lieutenant in my department. I attended FDIC in Indianapolis this year and participated in the 9-11 memorial stair climb and climbed in honor of Michael. I didn’t know of him before I picked his name, but we shared the same name, and something made me pick him to climb for. As I read about Michael I understood fate made my choice. I am also 39, and a father of two children, like Michael in 2001. Doing the climb was one of the most meaningful moments in my life, for many reasons, but I wanted you to know that I will never forget Michael, his commitment to his job, his oath, his city, country and what he must have meant to you. I keep his photo in my room and look at it daily as a reminder of his commitment, his sacrifice and why we do this job. It was an honor to climb in his name.
    God Bless you and Your Family,
    Michael Bastedo
    Lieutenant, Snyder FD
    Amherst, NY

    – Michael Bastedo
  5. On Friday September 9, 2016 I will be climbing in honor of Michael at the Central New York Stair climb in Utica NY. I am a volunteer firefighter currently serving in Wampsville NY.

    – Brian Fellows
  6. On September 16, 2017 I did the Pierce Stair at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. It was my first time doing it and was honored to have Michael’s picture. I will be keeping my badge with his picture to never forget the sacrifices he made in his life, and making the ultimate sacrifice in September 11th. I am already planning on doing this next year as well. Truly an inspiration learning about him. His family will now be in my thoughts and I hope all is well.

    Thank You,
    Stephanie Evans
    Appleton, WI

    – Stephanie Evans
  7. Tomorrow 9/11/2018, I will be climbing the Stratosphere with my fellow recruits of LVFR. We will each have a Fallen Firefighter’s name on our air pack and it will be an honor to climb with Michael Montesi on mine. I have come to learn what an amazing man he was, dedicated father, and heroic firefighter. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to firefighting and all the lives you’ve saved.
    -Serena Dorsett
    Las Vegas, NV

    – Serena Dorsett
  8. This past weekend my nephew did the stair climb in honor of Michael Montesi. The tallest building in the Rio Grande Valley, where we are from, holds this event to honor the fallen. My nephew said it was one of the hardest things he had done. But he never thought of quitting. He drew his inspiration from Michael. He wanted to set the example for his 3 sons including his youngest son who has cerebral palsy. He and his wife face a challenge everyday. But they face each day like heroes. I love where he draws his courage from. I am emotional today as I guess we all are on 9/11. To Michael’s lovely wife and boys, we will never forget. To all the fallen, we will never forget. To my nephew Richard Garza, I am so proud of you!!! Thank you for stepping up and honoring the Montesi Family and your own.

    – Emma Menchaca
  9. My family and I were on the road as a band from the late 90’s till 2008. We were living in Astoria and had just gotten back on September 9th from being on the road for several months. We were supposed to go into the recording studio at noon when we got a call from one of our managers asking if we were all right. We had no idea what was going on only 7 miles away. We gathered together, watched the horror plastered all over our TV screen, shut the door and wept along with the nation.
    In the days to follow and in an attempt to do anything to help, we started raising funds in our gigs for firefighters and firehouses.
    One day we all were invited to a NYC firehouse. At the end of our visit they gave us Memorial Bracelets with the names of those who perished. I got FF Michael Montesi. Every year I wear the bracelet and I pray for his family.
    Today is no different. Why I didn’t think to find information and a picture of him before, I have no clue. Reading about Michael and his love for his family made it much more important to wear this bracelet.
    My husband wrote a song about that day called, “Love Makes Us Like Superman”. He will be singing it tonight and we will dedicate it to Michael, your Superman.

    Much love from our family to your family,
    Jeannie and Ken Veltz

    – Jeannie Veltz
  10. I completed the memorial stair climb at Lambeau Field to in Michaels honor. You will never be forgotten Sir.
    Semper Fi

    – Matt Hansen
  11. Today I ran a 5k in honor of Mr. Montesi. Although I never knew him, I picked his name and wore a badge with his face on it. After reading about him, I will never forget him. I will think of him often and remember him. Thank you Mr. Montesi for your sacrifice. Rest easy Mr. Montesi.

    – Sara
  12. Today I climbed 110 stories with Michael’s name pinned to me. I thought of him and many others along the way. Rest In Peace.

    – In Honor
  13. I participated in the 20th anniversary 9/11 stair climb today at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. Although a climb I’ve participated in before, this one was different as my husband just became a firefighter this last year. He was on shift last night coincidentally and as I read your story, I wept thinking of how normal 9/10 must have felt for your family and yet how tragic the next day became. Michael’s story inspires us, but your story and love encourages me so much. My badge of Michael now is tied inside my GoRuck sack and I promise to never forget his dedication and service, along with your strength. It is my honor to carry his name with me. You are in my prayers and I hope you and your boys remain well.

    – Michelle Cheney
  14. I participated in my first 5K this year, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and picked Michael Montessi’s name out of the hundreds to choose from. I always wondered about the man in the picture I wore during the 5k. Thankfully, I found this site and had the opportunity to learn more about him.

    Thank you for your service. Sending prayers to the family he left behind, may God continue to Bless you always.


    – Sylvanna Porter
  15. My name is Martha and I am a mother of 3. I was currently invited to do a 5K run for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation in Newman California. This was my first time doing a 5K run with my dear friend Linda , and in Michaels honor, I chose to run for him.

    – Martha Rosas
  16. It was great to know Mike, doing plumbing with George. It was great as a new firefighter to have Mike walk over and shake my hand. What a class act and great man. Mike, I think about you often.

    – Joe Brady