First Posted: 3/15/2013
Throughout my short life, few events have made an impact as great as the one that occured on March 15, 1993.
It was a cold and snowy night in Pittston City when the tones dropped for a fire at Labarre’s. The wind whipped and smoke rose as the Main street was lit up in red from the approaching vehicles.
Upon arrival, the fire departments began to do what they were trained to; save lives and property. Many brave men went to the scene of that hellish inferno, and two did not make it out.
One of them was my uncle, and my namesake, John Lombardo.
Ever since I was a little boy, the fire department, and the story of my uncle John and Lenny Insalaco was like the plot to an epic novel. They were the heroes. They were all heroes to me.
My uncle’s spirit left an imprint on my life, not only in name, but in practice. Whenever at a crossroads, I ask myself: “Is this what Uncle John would do?” or “Would this make him proud?”
I pray to him often, asking for his guidance and protection. I think about what it would have been like to meet him. And though I never have, it seems like I’ve known him throughout my whole life.
Recently, his guidance led me to a path very similar to his own. Over the past year I started working as an EMT for the Pittston Ambulance. This year, I joined the Pittston City Fire Department.
It’s truly an honor to serve with the ones who were alongside him in those final moments.
Uncle John and Lenny, please continue to watch over and protect us. We miss you.