The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Nicholas Conte:
2014 Winner
FDNY Ladder 4

Nicholas Conte

Winning Essay

All kinds of people are considered heroes and legends. A baseball player can be considered a legend for his impact on the ball field. A young boy can be considered a hero for standing up to a bully. Is there a difference between the two? I say yes and no. In the 1993 film The Sandlot, there is a scene where the ghostly character of Babe Ruth appears to give advice to a young boy who faces a difficult situation. Babe Ruth tells the boy, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die…” What is meant by this statement is, everyone remembers a hero because of what they did, but legends are remembered for what they did and their legacy carries on forever. That is what separates a legend from a hero. However, that is also the similarity between the two. Both legends and heroes are people that do things no one else has ever done or dares to do. Hank Aaron is considered a baseball legend because he was the first player ever to hit 755 homeruns. A young boy standing up to a bully is a hero because no one else dared to do it.

When asked to write about a legend, I thought long and hard until I finally realized this very essay is being written to carry on the legacy of Firefighter Christopher Santora. I then realized he became a legend alongside many others. So I have decided to recognize a group of people as legends instead of a single person. The first responders of 9/11 perfectly define what a legend is. They did what no one else dared to do. As people tried to get as far away from danger as they could, these brave men and women ran towards it. They knew what was in front of them, but they put others’ lives before their own. Some people, including my own father, were off duty that day and stopped what they were doing to rush to help others. They are remembered for their effort to save lives while putting their own at risk. You have to be a special type of person to have the ability to risk your entire life and everything you have, to save the life of a complete stranger. They weren’t only saving a couple of people though, they were saving hundreds of lives at a time. They knew exactly what they were getting themselves into as they climbed higher and higher to help as many people as possible. Mothers were able to come home to their children. A wife was able to sleep next to her husband again. People got to see their loved ones again, as a result of the heroism of the firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers helping bring hundreds of people to safety. I can promise that the people who made it out of the World Trade Center that day will remember forever the face of the person who saved them. The heroes of that day became legends to the people they saved. They made an impact on not only myself, not only the people they saved, but they made an impact on the entire world. They reassured the fact that although there are people out there that can do such evil things, there are still people out there that are willing to do good things. They may not have known it at the time, but they made a mark on history. Individually their legacies are carried on and remembered. There are many ways today these legends are remembered, and they will be remembered forever.

Every legend has their own way of making their mark on earth; they make the world a better place. A true legend is remembered for the positive way they impacted the world. However some people are remembered forever for their acts of evil, but that does not make them legendary. People become legends when they stand up to those trying to inflict evil on the world. People such as Adolf Hitler will be remembered for a very long time for their acts of evil. However people will not celebrate what they did in their life time. After killing a massive amount of people, Hitler became infamous, not legendary. The soldiers that helped bring his reign of evil to an end; they are legends. A legend is someone that impacts the world in a way no other can. Whatever they do, it brings joy to the world. The first responders of the September 11th attacks became legendary during a time of evil. Without their efforts hundreds of more people would not be with us today. Many more children would have to wake up each day without a mom or dad. There would be more widows than there already are now. The heroes of that day put a silver lining on a very dark cloud. Their efforts were more important than they think they were. The first responders helped bring us together as a country. Someone like Hitler, is remembered forever for their efforts to destroy the human race. The heroes of 9/11 helped bring people together, and that’s the difference between the two. They may not have felt like legends or knew they were about to become legends, but they are legends. They certainly inspired me. After that day I knew that when I grew up I wanted to help people. I knew I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, just like they were. The honor and respect I have for the men and women who risked their lives on that day is tremendous. There are memorials held every year, and tributes made to those who did not make it out of the towers that day. At the site of where the World Trade Center used to stand there is a memorial. The memorial has the engraved names of all the people that died on that horrific day, including the first responders. It is remarkable that after almost 13 years, those men and women are still being honored and remembered today. However, as remarkable as it is, it does not surprise me. It does not surprise me because if a person is a legend, people will make sure their legacy is carried on forever. The firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers who lost their lives that day; they are legends, and legends never die.



We would like to wish Nicholas Conte the best of luck moving on to SUNY Maritime College. Congratulations!

My name is Nicholas Conte and I am 18 years old. I will be graduating from H. Frank Carey High School this June. I am a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Business Honor Society, and Science Honor Society. This past summer I was selected to participate in a 10 day trip to Italy. During the trip, I got to visit many different cities and places, including the Vatican and Coliseum. Throughout my high school career, I have played both varsity baseball and varsity football. This past year I was fortunate enough to be a part of the undefeated Long Island Championship Carey Seahawks football team. I was selected to the all-conference team and an honorable mention for the all-county team. After high school, I will be continuing my football career at SUNY Maritime College. During my years at Maritime I plan to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I will be also be a member of the Regiment of Cadets and joining the Air Force ROTC program. After my years at Maritime, I would like to become an officer in the United States Air Force. My passion towards air and space has lead me to purse a career in the Air Force, and my patriotism has lead me to pursuit a career in the military. I am very thankful and honored to be receiving this scholarship, as it will make chasing my dreams much easier.

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