Some people call astronauts heroes. But who might an astronaut consider to be a hero? Mike Massimino's dreams of flying in space were formed while growing up in a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) family. Mike's father, Mario, was a fire inspector with the FDNY, teaching Mike through this service that it was important in life to contribute to the public good. This message of duty - to give back to the world around you - as well as the demonstration of bravery and camaraderie shown through the many FDNY stories his father shared with him, inspired Mike's dream to do and experience that same through a different path. Though Mario died before he flew in space, Mike was able to honor both his father and those inspirational heroes of the FDNY who were killed on September 11, 2001, flying items in their honor in space as well as speaking to and of those brave men and women while on Earth. Yes, astronauts are considered heroes by many, but this is a story of how one astronaut honored the people he considers to be some of the truest heroes, including his father.
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