Family reflects on local man who died in 9/11


MARTINSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — 45-year-old Lt. Joseph Leavey always wanted to be a fireman.

His sister Patty remembers when he was just a boy growing up in Manhatten.  

Leavey actually started out as a civil engineer after college in 1977. He worked on blueprints for what would become his favorite building, and the site of his tragic death, the World Trade Center.

After five years as an engineer, Leavey followed his passion and became a fireman.

19 years later, on September 11, he and his crew on Ladder 15 were among the first to arrive at the south tower.

They rushed to the 78th floor and helped those who were trapped or injured.

After the towers collapsed, it was more than a month before Joseph was found.

Patty and her family spent the first 11 anniversaries at Ground Zero. Since then, they have mostly been in Shanksville.

She says these days things are different, stating, “a lot of people aren’t showing patriotism anymore, they’re forgetting about 9/11.”

Patty loves her community of Martinsburg, but hopes to once again feel a united sense of what her brother Joseph died for.

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