Look | NYPD Honors 9/11 Victims With Ceremony

The New York Police Department honored the officers who died in the September 11, 2001, attack, or after working on the toxic pile of rubble. The department handed medals to families of 23 officers who died that day and the 49 officers and one civilian who died since.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly spoke to a packed auditorium at Lincoln Center Thursday morning to remember officers who died as a result of the September 11, 2001, attacks. “Amidst raging fire and clouds of smoke, with debris raining down around them, they drew from the place where courage resides and character is forged,” Kelly said.


( Ailsa Chang/WNYC )

Twenty-three members of the police department died in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. More than 50 engaged in rescue and recover efforts have developed cancer or other illnesses in the years since, according to police. Archbishop Timothy Dolan said of the police officers who gave their lives “after 9/11, we can never look at you the same way. We were able to duck because you stood tall.  You were symbols, and as with other symbols, I’m prompted to salute you. As with other signs, I’m moved to put my hand over my heart out of love for you.”

( Ailsa Chang/WNYC )

John DiStephano accepted a medallion from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in honor of his nephew, officer Walter Weaver, who was 28 and a member of the NYPD’s Emergency Service Squads. DiStephano said Weaver died in the World Trade Center after rushing to rescue people trapped in an elevator just before the towers collapsed.

The son of Police Officer James Godbee accepts a medallion on behalf of his father. Godbee, who engaged in rescue and recovery efforts, died on December 20, 2004.

( Ailsa Chang.WNYC )

The daughter of Detective James Zadroga accepts a medallion from Mayor Bloomberg on behalf of her father. Zadroga, who helped in rescue and recovery efforts, died on January 5, 2006. A federal law named after him funds long-term health-care and a Victims Compensation Fund for people exposed to Ground Zero dust and debris.

( Ailsa Chang/WNYC )