Firefighter’s remains laid to rest 18 years after 9/11, but many still unidentified

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The family of a New York City firefighter who died on 9/11 said goodbye for a second time this week after his remains were “conclusively identified.”

The memorial was held on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the terror attacks.

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Michael Haub was among hundreds of firefighters who responded to the World Trade Center. He died in the south tower that day, but his remains weren’t recovered until six months after the attacks.

The New York City medical examiner verified more of Haub’s remains just last week.

Erika Starke, left, is comforted by her son Michael Haub as they attend a second funeral service for New York Fire Department firefighter Michael Haub, in Franklin Square, N.Y. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez). (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Friends and family gathered for a second memorial service for the firefighter on Tuesday in Franklin Square, the same place they gathered in 2002 for his wake.

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The Uniformed Firefighters Association said it hoped the service finally provides his family “closure and peace of mind that Michael is at rest.”

“We remember him and the 342 other firefighters who perished that fateful day, and will be forever grateful for the courage they showed,” the association said in a statement provided to Global News.

“Firefighter Michael Haub is a hero.”

Kiersten Haub, from left, Erika Starke, and Michael Haub, family members of New York firefighter Michael Haub. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez).

The call about the attacks came in just as Haub was finishing a shift at Ladder Company 4, according to Newsday. He was a 13-year veteran of the department.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed when planes were hijacked and crashed into the two towers, the Pentagon and a field. Hundreds more have died in the years following from illnesses believed to be tied to toxins from working at Ground Zero after the attacks.

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The identification of the victims is ongoing, even 18 years later.

As of July, about 40 per cent of those who died have not been positively identified by the medical examiner, according to CNN.

A New York Fire Department member, left, carries the remains of FDNY firefighter Michael Haub during the second funeral service for him in Franklin Square, N.Y. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez).

Haub left behind his wife and two children, who were just three years and 16 months old at the time.

At the memorial, his son, now an adult, could be seen embracing his mother.

Haub’s wife, who has since remarried, has said she never expects to truly move on.

“I’ll always love my first husband. He’s part of my life every single day,” Erika Starke told Newsday on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

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“Some people say, ‘Oh, you’ve moved on.’ I’m not moving on, it’s living. We are here to live, not to die, so I enjoy my life. But it’s very painful, especially raising two children who lost their father, especially in that way.”

— With files from the Associated Press

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