Andrew Jordan, Lad.132 WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY — On Sept. 11, 2001, Andrew Jordan was a fourth grader at Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School, a bright little boy who loved geography and history — he could easily recite the names of every president — and who beamed when his father, Andrew Jordan, Sr., visited his classroom and let his friends try on his fireman’s uniform, their little-boy feet far too small for a hero’s boots. Andrew’s mom Lisa was expecting their fourth baby that September, and he and his dad spoke excitedly about the impending birth during soccer signup at the library in Westhampton Beach. His wife, Andrew Jordan Sr. said, was home, “nesting” as she got everything ready for their new arrival. He didn’t know whether the baby was going to be a boy or girl, he said. “We want it to be a surprise.” Andrew Jordan Sr. never got to meet his youngest son Sean, born on Sept. 26, 2001. On Sept. 11, Andrew was in his classroom when the most horrific act of terrorism ever to take place on American soil brought down the Twin Towers and shattered the innocence of a generation. Andrew’s father wasn’t supposed to work that morning; he’d headed in to his firehouse, Ladder Company 132 in Brooklyn, to help a friend. Today, 18 years after that deceptively blue September morning, Andrew is 27 years old, but the memories of his dad are as close as a heartbeat. As a child who lost his father on 9/11, Andrew Jordan said, the chapters of his life that followed were indelibly shaped not just by profound loss, but by the legacy of love his father left behind. “I would have to say that 9/11 shaped my future, because I was inspired to make my father proud — by focusing on my studies and trying a lot of different activities that I likely wouldn’t have tried without that motivation,” he said. Andrew, who was a teacher, is now a law student. “My ultimate goal is to help others and serve in any capacity in which I can help others,” he said. In past years, Andrew and his mother, Lisa Jordan, have said that they believe more can be done to teach students about 9/11 in local schools, so that the heroes who sacrificed their lives that day are never forgotten — and so that such pervasive evil can never happen again. This week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law establishing September 11th Remembrance Day; the legislation mandates that a moment of silence must be observed on 9/11 in public schools statewide. “9/11 was one of the single darkest periods in this state’s and this nation’s history, and we owe it to those we lost and to the countless heroes who ran toward danger that day and the days that followed to do everything we can to keep their memory alive,” Cuomo said in a statement. Andrew was pleased this week by Cuomo’s news. “I like that there is a mandatory moment of silence in New York schools,” he said. “I know most students who are in schools today weren’t alive when 9/11 happened. I believe it’s important to talk about 9/11, and I hope this moment of silence in schools can help students and teachers have a conversation about what happened.” Both mother and son have said in the past that they believe a moment of silence should be recognized in schools across the country. In 2010, Sean Jordan, who never met his father but holds family stories and memories close, stood before the Westhampton Beach Board of Education and implored educators to embrace a moment of silence, to remember his dad, and the thousands who died that day. His father, Andrew said this week, shaped everything that he has since become. “The memories I have of my father are invaluable. I cherish the memories of playing in the pool with my dad, going to baseball games and spending time with him at the beach.” On Wednesday, the world will take time to remember the lost. And Andrew Jordan and his family will remember a father, a husband, a friend to many — a kind, loving man with a wide smile, a caring and generous heart, and a deep love for his family that shone brightly in all that he did. A love so strong and fierce that it lives on, forever, in his wife and children. And in a legacy of heroism — the final gift a courageous firefighter left to the world.