"America's Newsroom" highlighted a touching moment from the FDNY's graduation ceremony, where the daughter of a firefighter killed on 9/11 followed in her father's footsteps.

Josephine Smith, 34, was among 280 members of the graduating class who became probationary firefighters. 

She's the first daughter of a firefighter lost in the 9/11 attacks to become a member of the FDNY.


She said after the ceremony (video above) that she's been waiting for this day her whole life, especially for the last 13 years, but is sad that her dad wasn't there to see it. 

"There isn't a moment of any day that I haven't thought about my father," she said.


The addition of Josephine and three other women brings the total number of female firefighters to 44, an all-time high for the department. 

Kevin Smith, a 47-year-old father of eight from Long Island, was stationed at Hazmat Co. 1 in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. 

An FDNY spokesman told the Daily News that Smith's unit was an "elite" squad that, like other FDNY units, was "completely wiped out" that day. 

After losing her father, Smith said her desire to follow in his footsteps only became stronger.

“After 9/11, I wanted to make sure this was something I was going to fulfill,” she said. “It pushed me even more. I always had a drive to want to be a firefighter, but that — it made me work 10 times harder.”

Her hard work has not gone unnoticed by the FDNY brass.

“I couldn’t be prouder that she got through this very, very difficult training,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told The News. “She’s gone through a tough 18 weeks and proven that she’s every bit as good as her father was. I’m sure she’ll be a great firefighter (and) have a great career.”

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Kevin Smith, a firefighter killed on 9/11.