by Petty Officer 3rd Class John Hightower
Few people are considered heroic enough to have a Coast Guard cutter named in their honor.
The Coast Guard held a ceremony on November 12 to announce two of its new Sentinel-Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) will be named after two such men who served in the Coast Guard. These heroes also served in the New York City Fire Department and New York City Police Department, respectively, and both lost their lives responding on 9/11.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz made the announcement in New York City’s Battery Park flanked by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and FDNY Chief of Department John Sudnik, that the new cutters will be named in honor of Port Security Specialist 2nd Class Vincent Danz and Machinery Technician 1st Class Jeffrey Palazzo.
Palazzo, who served as a Coast Guard reservist and FDNY firefighter at Rescue 5 in Staten Island, perished while assisting others at the scene of the 9/11 attacks. Danz served as a Coast Guard reservist, as well as a NYPD officer at the Emergency Services Unit in the Bronx. He was providing aid to victims on 9/11 during the World Trade Center collapse.
“We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to honor these brave men whose service and sacrifice spanned three great first-responder organizations,” said Schultz. “Their broad military and public service to both the nation and city of New York demonstrated their incredible dedication and character. When the call came, they answered. We are certain that the men and women who serve aboard Coast Guard Cutter Vincent Danz and Coast Guard Cutter Jeffrey Palazzo in the future will proudly carry on their sense of honor, respect, and devotion to duty.”
“Firefighter Jeffrey Palazzo bravely served our city and his country,
proudly wearing the uniforms of the FDNY and United States Coast
Guard,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “We will never forget his bravery and the sacrifice he made working to rescue those trapped at the World Trade Center. His legacy will live on through the Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter that will bear his name and rescue New Yorkers from danger for years to come.”
“Eighteen years ago, New York City Police Officer Vincent Danz was a portrait of courage amid the devastation of the World Trade Center attacks,” said O’Neill. “As we think about Vincent’s life, let us always honor – and never forget – his sacrifice for his colleagues, our fellow New Yorkers and our country. Let this Coast Guard vessel forever be a beacon to anyone in distress and a reminder of our collective mission as first responders to always keep one another safe.”
The Sentinel-class fast response cutter is a key component of the Coast Guard’s offshore fleet that is capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. They are replacing the 1980s-era Island-Class 110-foot patrol boats.