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“Leonard Ragaglia”


555 Fitness Hero WOD

1.2K 48
  • For Time
  • 20 Push Presses (65% of 1 RM)
  • 20 Burpees
  • 15 Push Presses (70% of 1 RM)
  • 15 Burpees
  • 10 Push Presses (75% of 1 RM)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 5 Push Presses (80% of 1 RM)
  • 5 Burpees

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This Firefighter Hero WOD is dedicated to Leonard Ragaglia, FDNY, Engine 54, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

Those who knew Westerleigh native Leonard "Lenny" Ragaglia, 36, describe him as a natural leader. Tall and muscular, with a contagious sense of humor and a fiercely competitive streak, he was often the first to tackle the job when he and other firefighters faced a particularly difficult task.

"When everyone was complaining, he would just go," said Al Quinones, one of Mr. Ragaglia's colleagues at Engine Co. 54, Manhattan. "He pushed everyone around him to do their best." Mr. Ragaglia is one of 15 firefighters from Engine 54 missing since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The third — and oldest boy — of 11 children, he was a graduate of McKee High School. Mr. Ragaglia loved sports from an early age and played football, baseball, softball and basketball. He was a passionate fan of the New York Mets, Dallas Cowboys and New York Islanders.

He had an absolute determination to win, according to friends and family members. "You never met anybody more competitive than Lenny," said Larry Wiltbank, who worked with Mr. Ragaglia when he was a police officer at the 5th Precinct, Manhattan. "Even in a simple game of Wiffleball, Lenny had to win."

Mr. Ragaglia served as a police officer from 1984 until 1993, when he entered the Fire Academy. He was assigned to Engine 54 upon graduation. Although Mr. Ragaglia was usually "laid back," according to Mr. Wiltbank, his determination made him an effective police officer and firefighter. In 1989, Mr. Ragaglia and his partner at the 5th Precinct evacuated several families from a burning building on Mulberry Street, Manhattan, a rescue that earned him the precinct's "policeman of the year" award.

His sense of humor also endeared him to others. He enjoyed pulling pranks on his co-workers and developed his own vocabulary, which many of his friends and family adopted.

"The thing that everybody knows about Lenny is he had his own dictionary," said his wife, the former Donna Galante. "He liked to make up words." He would say, for example, that someone who was sleeping was "toes up." And a favorite greeting was, "Whattaya got?"

" 'Whattaya got?' means 'Hello,' " explained Mr. Wiltbank. " 'Whattaya got?' means 'What are we doing?' 'Whattaya got?' means 'Where are we going for lunch?' It could mean anything."

"At the end, when he was going on to the Fire Department, everybody in the 5th Precinct spoke his language," said Mr. Wiltbank. "We called it 'Lenonics.' " Mr. Ragaglia was devoted to his wife and children, holding down several jobs to ensure they had what they needed. "He was the best husband, father and provider that you could ever ask for," said Mrs. Ragaglia, "and we love and miss him very much."

"He was always working, always making things good for the family," said his father, Leonard S. Ragaglia. "He was loved by a lot of people. He was a joy, he truly was." Mr. Ragaglia enjoyed playing sports and video games with his two sons, Lenny Jr., 10, and Anthony, 7.

"He was a third child," said his wife. "And they loved it." Mr. Ragaglia was very fit and enjoyed running and weightlifting when he had time. "He also loved wrestling — watching it and rolling around on the living room floor with his two boys," said Mrs. Ragaglia. He was a parishioner of St. Teresa's R.C. Church, Castleton Corners, and a member of the FDNY Columbia Association.
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