Al Benjamin, a 35 year veteran of the FDNY, retired Thursday after a storied career with the department.
He was thrust into leadership after the September 11th terror attacks and became one of the departments most respected members.
"They (FDNY) passes everything down, and hopefully I did that," he said.
Benjamin is a fireman's fireman, with the elite rescue one unit, Al is the longest serving firefighter in the special operations command.
He came into the department in 1977 and has been with the rescue one for the past 21 years. His career well documented on the walls of this famed house.
"You're a role model to the people of the city of new york. Because you send a message that everyone can be a member of this fire department," said City Council President, Christine Quinn.
Praising his character, his bravery and courage too, Al was given proclamations and a warm thank you from his peers.
"His personality, his talent, we will truly miss him," said Capt. Robert Morris.
On 9/11 Al had switched with another firefighter but ended up at the site, helping to find his fellow firefighters.
"I'm going to miss the guys, the fire department. It has been really good to me, a really good career for me," he adds.
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