New York Fire Department battalion chief Lawrence Stack was laid to rest Friday—nearly 15 years after he died when the World Trader Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Times reports. Stack was helping an injured business man from Iowa when the north tower collapsed, killing him. His family had been holding off on a funeral in the hopes his remains would eventually be found. Only 65% of the remains recovered in the wake of Sept. 11 have been identified—the rest are too damaged—and a Catholic funeral Mass requires some part of the deceased to be present. According to CBS New York, that problem was finally solved when a vial of Stack's blood was found in storage in Minnesota. Stack had donated it during a bone marrow drive for a boy with cancer 18 months before 9/11.
The vial of Stack's blood was buried with his casket Friday after a service on Long Island, WABC reports. He received a full FDNY sendoff, complete with bagpipes and a procession. In attendance were Mayor de Blasio, the FDNY commissioner, and thousands of firefighters. It was the first funeral for a firefighter killed on Sept. 11 in a decade. “This is all about never forgetting—15 years later, never forget,” a firefighter at the funeral tells CBS. The 58-year-old Stack was a Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam War. He was with the FDNY for nearly 33 years before his death, and both his sons are now firefighters. He was one of 343 members of the FDNY killed on Sept. 11. (The last rescue dog from Sept. 11 was euthanized this month.)