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Christopher Raguso remembered at FDNY plaque unveiling

Commack resident and FDNY lieutenant, Christopher Raguso, who was killed in a helicopter crash last year in Iraq while serving as a master sergeant with the New York Air National Guard last year, was honored Saturday in a packed Queens firehouse. Credit: News 12 Long Island

Hundreds of New York City firefighters gathered Saturday morning in Queens to honor one of their own.

A plaque dedicated to Christopher Raguso was unveiled at Ladder Company 155 in Jamaica, Queens, where he was most recently assigned, according to News 12.

Raguso, 39, of Commack, was a master sergeant in the New York Air National Guard and a lieutenant in the FDNY. He died last March while serving in Iraq. He was one of seven men killed when their helicopter crashed near the Syrian border. Of those seven, four, including Raguso, were from the 106th Air Rescue Wing, based in Westhampton Beach.

“I tried to figure out how this awful tragedy happened to my little family,” said his wife, Carmela Raguso, at the dedication with their two young daughters. “Why us, and how is this fair?”

She added, “Thank you for this amazing day and honoring my beautiful husband.”

New York City dignitaries were also on hand.

“Chris devoted his life to bringing others home safely,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during the ceremony.

Family members have said Raguso was deployed several times to war zones, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, and had traveled to Texas and the Caribbean to help hurricane victims. He also served in the Commack Fire Department. 

Saturday was the latest of many tributes to Raguso. A seven-mile stretch of Jericho Turnpike in Commack was recently renamed in his honor, News 12 reported.

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