Has it been 17 years already? It seems like just yesterday when a couple of us here at American Police Officers Alliance stood with families overlooking the burning ruins of the World Trade Center from a New Jersey overlook. We didn’t know yet how many of our brothers in arms died that day, but we felt the growing pain in our stomachs while we watched and prayed.
That pain subsided over time as we celebrated their lives as heroes and regularly visited the 9/11 Memorial to find our brother’s names etched forever in history. Names of those who died on that fateful day like New York Police Department Sergeant Rodney C. Gillis or Port Authority Captain Kathy Mazza, who saved numerous lives as a result of their actions. We often think about their families as this day approaches.
But it wasn’t just the officers and first responders who died on 9/11, but all those that followed as a result of illnesses like cancer or respiratory diseases that prolonged their deaths over the years. The illnesses they couldn’t have predicted but would have endured anyway to help any way they could.
So many officers to remember. The total of which includes one officer who was killed when United Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania as he and other passengers attempted to regain control of the plane from the hijackers. 71 officers killed when the two World Trade Center buildings collapsed in New York City. Dozens more passed away in the years following 2001 as the direct result of the illnesses noted while working in the hazardous conditions immediately following the attacks in New York.
Paying Tribute on 9/11
We ask those of you reading this commemorate with us, in public or in private watching TV or praying for our fallen brothers during your commutes. Because remembering is everything. We can never let this day pass because it marks the day the world changed in so many ways. In the way the country engaged abroad in the fight against terrorism, and here at home when the Bush Administration created the Homeland Security Department, how police across America became a front line against terror on our soil and how airport security became a focus for law enforcement seeking to ensure our people were safe every day.
We may focus on politics often, especially during this heated election season in this divided America. But 9/11 is a day to put all politics and differences aside and stand together to remember what makes us a great nation. Because during those tumultuous times and in the days and years after 9/11 this nation stood together in unity. For one day we need to do the same to honor those who gave their lives in heroism.
Commemorate with us
There are numerous services happening across America. President Trump and his wife Melania are attending the services in Pennsylvania for those nearby. And of course the events at the 9/11 Memorial and those at The Pentagon which will also be televised nationally. The Twin Lights will again grace the skies above Manhattan and they are a sight to see if you live in the TriState area.
For more details on events and memorials please visit the 9/11 Memorial Page for what is being shared online.
Also, All of our brothers names and bios have been listed in memoriam on the Officer Down Memorial page.
Please remember. For our fallen officers and first responders gave the ultimate sacrifice that day for us.