As the rain poured on the gathering participants, the backdrop of panels 9W to 22W, arrayed with roses and a banner, was poignant. It also made the rain insignificant as we gathered to honor a tremendous sacrifice.
On this day, September 9, 2011, the only part of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (NLEOM) that is given specific recognition are those panels.
The Memorial itself is a standing depiction of sacrifice for every law enforcement officer that has died in the line of duty and it serves as a tribute to those still serving.
On those panels, 72 names of law enforcement officers that died responding to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are displayed, and today, the NLEOM Foundation Director Craig Floyd and several law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Mueller, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers and representatives from the New York City and Port Authority Police Department, gathered to pay tribute.
The September 11th terrorist attacks remains the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history: 37 Port Authority, 23 NYPD, one Secret Service officer, one FBI agent, one Fish & Wildlife officer and other New York law enforcement died answering the call.
Former Port Authority Police Chief Joe Morris, who was a captain at the time, became the highest ranking Port Authority Police Commander after the attacks, and had to rebuild both his department’s morale and manpower. Retired Chief Morris said, “10 years later, we remember the officers that died but must also remember the families left behind.”
AD Holder lays the wreath assisted by USCP Honor Guard.
After the dignitaries read all 72 names and a prayer by the NYPD rabbi chaplain, Attorney General Holder laid a wreath at the memorial with a U.S. Park Police and Capitol Police Honor guard.
The Foundation Chairman ended the ceremony with the Memorial’s motto: “In valor there is hope, and those that died displayed that and their actions command us to Never Forget.”
May God bless America and all its brave law enforcement officers.
For More Information: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. nleomf.org.