NY Daily News - September 13, 2016by Edgar Sandoval
The widow and daughter of a firefighter who died on Sept. 11th marked the somber anniversary with an emotional visit to his firehouse locker.
"We have not been here in five years," admitted Dena Smagala before she approached the wood paneled locker in Engine 226 in Boerum Hill.
She was five months pregnant when then 36-year-old Stanley Smagala died trying to save workers in the South Tower.
"He was a hero," said his daughter Alexa Faith as her eyes welled up. "He was a great man."
For her mother, the memories flooded back when the locker door was opened.
The cubbyhole was filled with old mementoes her husband left behind, including his fire boots and a smiling photo.
It was also jammed with photos of Alexa Faith as a baby which Dena Smagala added after his death. On Sunday, she picked up a navy blue FDNY polo with his name on it and stared at for several longing seconds.
"There are a lot of memories here. It feels like he's still here," Dena Smagala said as she inspected other clothing and fire boots tucked inside.
Alexa Faith tilted her head under one of her dad's ties and noticed her reflection on another mirror glued to the locker's wall.
A handwritten sign on it read: "Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the most beautiful firefighter of all? Well, it's you of course Stan."
"They always made fun of him. He was the pretty boy of the fire house. Have you seen him?" Dena Smagala recalled. "It's nice to see everything, but it's difficult," she added.
Alexa Faith, who has strong resemblance to her father, said she has watched videos of her dad.
"I've seen pictures and videos," she said. "He was always laughing. I feel like I know him."
With Reuven Blau