This Thursday, the New York Police Department honored the officers killed on Sept. 11, 2001 with a somber ceremony at Lincoln Center.
After brief remarks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly handed memorial medallions to family members of those officers who have passed away.
After each name was read, it was met with a profound applause.
Joel Perry, who lost his brother, Police Officer John Perry, in the attacks, took his daughter on stage to accept the medallion.
“I never met him,” said Autumn Perry, 12, of her uncle. “But I know he was a great man, a hero.”
Twenty-three officers were killed on Sept. 11, but the 50 police
officers who died of illnesses contracted after working at Ground Zero
were also honored.
Jim Ryan accepted the medallion on behalf of his brother, Sergeant Michael W. Ryan, who died in 2007.
“It’s great that we’re honoring them, but they’re not out of our thoughts or our memories,” he said.
“It was hard growing up without her,” said Patricia Smith, 12, who lost her mother, Officer Moira Smith, nearly 10 years ago. “I liked being on stage to represent her; I felt proud.”
Clock is ticking
Even though it’s been ten years since 9/11, first responders are still
fighting for health care coverage for illnesses they say they contracted
at Ground Zero.
“I was shocked they didn’t include the cancers,” said Joseph Zadroga,
father of James Zadroga, the first emergency responder to die of
illnesses related to Ground Zero exposure, and for whom the Zadroga Act
was named. Cancer is not covered under the Zadroga Act.
“They’re making them wait years for help, but they’re not going to live that long.”