Lee Ielpi is a retired member of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) where he served in a specialized firefighting unit in Brooklyn, New York. His two sons also became firefighters. On September 11, 2001, Lee’s older son, Jonathan, responded to the World Trade Center and was killed. Lee worked at the recovery site for 9 months searching for victims. He became a spokesperson for the September 11th Families’ Association and was a strong advocate for building a memorial. In 2004, Lee co-founded the Tribute WTC Visitor Center so that visitors from around the world could learn more about the attacks of 9/11 and their aftermath.