Mom Regrets Not Revealing Pregnancy To Firefighter Fiancée Who Died In The 9/11 Attacks

His last words, on the phone, were, "Gotta go, they’ll leave without me," followed by, "I love you."
One of the most devastating things about the lives lost on September 11, 2001, was that so many stories didn't have an ending. So many people went to work that day and didn't come home.

James N. Pappageorge was one of those people. Best known as Jimmy, he was a firefighter who was engaged to a woman named Gina Pinos. Gina had a son from another relationship, but Jimmy treated him like family.

The two had somewhat of a storybook romance. They initially met at the gym and started dating during the summer. But he wasn't so sure he was the right guy for her. He realized his life didn't have a ton of direction, and he wanted to solve that before settling down.

When he decided to be an EMT and complete training, he went to surprise Gina. But that's when he realized she had moved on and was pregnant with someone else's child.
Mom Regrets Not Revealing Pregnancy To Firefighter Fiancée Who Died In The 9/11 Attacks

Gina knew that Jimmy was the love of her life. She spoke to the New York Post about what they chose to do from that moment on.
"You're the one for me," Jimmy had told her. "I'm going to take care of you and [the baby] for the rest of my life."

From that point on, Jimmy treated the boy — named Justin — as his own. He was in the delivery room and was always there for the child. It made the two even more excited to grow their family together. Jimmy was also continuously getting new titles and new responsibilities at work.

In 1996, he joined the New York City Fire Department's EMS division. In 1999, he earned the title of paramedic. He chose to become a firefighter since he felt that financially that would be the best decision moving forward. He liked working with people and helping others, and it was a natural fit.

On July 23‚ 2001, Jimmy graduated from the Fire Academy and joined Engine Co. 23. In the meantime, Gina and Jimmy felt like the time was right to start having kids. Things were looking up for the couple — but then September 11 came along, and everything changed forever.

When the first plane hit, Gina immediately got on the phone with Jimmy. "I could hear the emotion in the firehouse. I heard the alarms," she said. At the time, she had no idea that it would be the last time she'd speak to him. His last words, on the phone, were, "Gotta go, they’ll leave without me," followed by, "I love you."

At the time, Gina never got to tell him the news — she had just found out she was pregnant. She claims that it's one of her biggest regrets.

"I don't know if that would have made a difference," she said. "I always carry it with me."

Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, which makes the situation even more grim. Gina lost both her unborn child and her true love. While she has since married and divorced, she's admitted that she never fell in love the way she did with Jimmy.

Every year on September 11, Jimmy is one of the many brave people honored and remembered. At the time of his death, Jimmy was only 29. He had so much life ahead of him, but he died trying to save lives. Not only did he leave behind Gina and Justin but also his parents and extended family, whom he was extremely close with.

"Jimmy loved his family very much," his sister, Helen, eulogized in his Roll of Honor remembrance. "He was very much like his mother‚ a dedicated hard-working person throughout her life‚ who preferred quiet moments at home. He learned the value of life and all the responsibilities that comes along with it from his father. As adults they became the best of friends."

Gina Pinos, whose husband, James Pappageorge, had been an FDNY firefighter 6 weeks when he died on Sept. 11. Waiting for his name to be read

— Alexi Friedman (@alexifriedman) September 11, 2011
While remembering the tragedy that took place on September 11 during its 20-year anniversary, it's important to sit down and recognize individuals like James Pappageorge. It's hard to think about where he'd be today had the attack not occurred. No matter what, he aimed to make the world a better place during his time here, and that's something that should always be honored.