By Dean Meminger NY1
New York City Police Department officers and recruits stood in silence Tuesday morning to remember the 23 members of the department killed in the September 11th attacks. During a roll call at the 13th precinct in Gramercy their names were read out loud as they were saluted for their service and ultimate sacrifice.
“We honor them daily by protecting the American way of life for which they did that day,” said 13th Precinct Deputy Inspector Ted Berntsen.
The ceremony was brief, but significant. Sister Angelina Randazzo stopped by to comfort officers and hand out prayer cards.
“We pray for them every day. All the police officers, the firemen, the sanitary people. We pray for them every day that God will give them strength and courage to carry on,” Randazzo said.
For some officers and retired members of the force comfort is hard to come by because of illnesses contracted from the dust cloud of debris at the World Trade Center site.
“We have lost over 60 more members to illness. So many of our members are struggling from their service then, they are struggling with illness now. We also remember them as we stand here in respectful silence,” said PBA President Pat Lynch.
“We just had another guy a friend of ours from emergency die from a cancer related to 9/11. It will take its toll. I think that is just the unfortunate part of it,” said retired NYPD Emergency Services Unit Officer John Lambkin.
After the 9/11 attacks the NYPD would change forever. It became a force to protect the city against terrorism.
Approximately 1,000 officers are now dedicated to what’s called the counterterrorism unit — patrolling the roads, waterways and skies around the city for any signs of potential threats. Some officers are even working overseas to investigate terrorism.
“It is a heightened alert especially on days like this. You can never let your guard down. But they go out there and do their jobs and they do it well,” said Police Trustee John Flynn.
Those who gathered Tuesday say they hope they never face a day like 9/11 ever again.