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(E) NYC Firefighter
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/22/2002 | News | Unrated
(E) NYC Firefighter
Story from the Feb. 5, 2002 edition of New York Newsday 
about Lt. Anthony Jovic, a New York City firefighter and 
Croatian American who died in the World Trade Center on 
Sept. 11. 
Frank Mustac 
A Kidder Known for His Sharp Mind 
By Elizabeth Moore 
Staff Writer 
February 5, 2002 
In those first weeks after Lt. Anthony Jovic disappeared 
with other members of Engine Co. 279 at the World 
Trade Center, his wife, Cynthia, concentrated on being 
strong for his two boys, Matthew, 10, and Peter, 9. So 
she had a little psychological trick she played on 
herself to keep going. 
"I'd say, ‘He's working today. He's going to come home 
tonight,'” she recalled. "That night it would be, ‘OK, 
he's working tonight, he's going to come home tomorrow.' 
Every day I'd tell myself the same thing.” 
It was because Cynthia Jovic can't imagine morning 
coffee without her husband of 16 years, a big kidder 
and hugger-and-kisser who never got through a day 
without several times telling her and the boys he loved 
The son of a Croatian longshoreman who grew up in 
Hell's Kitchen, Jovic, 39, impressed all his friends as 
being smart enough to win the big one on "Jeopardy!” 
The couple met in Manhattan, when he was working at 
a butcher shop on Ninth Avenue and she, also a 
Croatian immigrant and longshoreman's daughter, was 
working at a deli nearby. When a cousin suggested they 
all go to an Irish pub in New Hyde Park, Jovic drove to 
pick her up in Manhattan in the most formal manner, 
allowing plenty of time to chat first with her mother and 
father at the house. For her old-fashioned European 
parents, his wife said, "it was love at first sight.” 
For the couple, too. They married 2 1/2 years later. 
Jovic joined the city fire department 12 years ago, about 
the time the family moved from Elmhurst to Massapequa 
Park. He was aiming high, and once he made lieutenant was 
already spending every free day he could find to prepare 
for the captain's exam, which he would have taken in 
October. When not working or studying, it was miniature 
golf, bowling, and lots of swimming with the family in 
the backyard pool. They were so close, she could finish 
his sentences for him. 
"We were the happiest when we were together,” she said. 
Cynthia Jovic was watching CNN on Sept. 11; she knew it 
was bad, because her husband was working with the company 
in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that day. 
"When that tower came down, his soul went right through 
me. I knew it then, he just went through me and I knew he 
was gone,” she said. His burned and mangled shield turned 
up in the south tower in November, shortly before a 
memorial service was held, but no remains have been 
The memory of that moment has become a source of warmth 
and comfort lately, now that it's no longer possible for 
her to pretend her husband is coming home tonight, or 
tomorrow morning, or the next day. Now, Cynthia Jovic 
knows, he's with her and the kids all the time. 
"He always told me, ‘Every time they take an ID picture, 
I try to look nice, because you never know when they 
might be using it for a memorial.' I'll be honest with 
you, I think he looks wonderful in the picture that they 
have of him.” 
Copyright © 2002, Newsday, Inc. 
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