Beckwith was retired when the World Trade Center was targeted, but raced to the scene to help search for survivors.
He was photographed with President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks in .
“Laura and I are saddened by the passing of Bob Beckwith. On September 11, 2001, Bob was happily retired after more than 30 years of service with the New York City Fire Department. When the terrorists attacked, Bob suited back up and, like so many brave first responders, raced toward the danger to save and search for others. His courage represented the defiant, resilient spirit of New Yorkers and Americans after 9/11. I was proud to have Bob by my side at Ground Zero days later and privileged to stay in touch with this patriot over the years. Laura and I send our condolences to Barbara and the Beckwith family as they remember this decent, humble man,” Bush said in a statement on X.
“Bob Beckwith was one of many retired FDNY members who responded to the World Trade Center site in the days and months following September 11, to aid in rescue and recovery, as a testament to their devotion to their FDNY family,” FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said. “His iconic picture with President Bush captured a moment that was both inspiring and heartbreaking. We are grateful to his service to our city and our nation, and we join his family and friends in mourning his loss.”
In a social media post announcing Beckwith’s death Monday, former Rep. Peter King called him a “man of class and dignity.”
“An American icon who personified the best of the FDNY, New York and America at our most perilous moment,” King posted.
The Uniformed Firefighters Association remembered Beckwith as “one of the heroes of 9/11 who stood tall for America, New York City and all New Yorkers.”
“He spent many hours searching for the members we lost on that fateful day in 2001,” the union posted on social media.
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