Service Held For Court Officers Killed On September 11th
A memorial service was held Friday in honor of three court officers who were killed on September 11th. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following report.
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In the halls of justice, three court officers were remembered for their heroism and ultimate sacrifice on 9/11.
Sergeant Thomas Jurgens, Captain William Harry Thompson and Sergeant Mitchell Wallace died when the Twin Towers collapsed.
"They are gone but not forgotten," said Major Reginald Mebane.
Mebane was the commanding officer for the courts in 2001. Although he survived the terrorist attack 10 years ago, there's still plenty of pain.
"Took me a year before I could cry, but I did finally break down and get it out. It still bothers me and I still have the scars to say I lost three good brothers," said Mebane.
The courthouses in Lower Manhattan and the court officers training facility are only a few blocks from the World Trade Center. More than 20 court officers jumped into action on 9/11 to try and help rescue victims.
"We actually got there before the fire department and the NYPD, and then we made a conscious decision to do floor-by-floor searches," said Chief Joseph Baccellieri.
The officers say they helped to evacuate people and provide medical care, but when the towers came down, they quickly realized three court house brothers didn't make it out.
"As the days went by, we hoped they were trapped somewhere in the rubble, that they would be found in the next few days. But, as time went on, that hope faded and they were lost,” said Captain Rick Rosenfield.
Sergeant Jurgens’ remains were never recovered, though DNA and parts of Thompson's and Wallace's uniforms were found.
Family members attended the ceremony, clearly missing their loved ones. Some never have the opportunity to embrace their relatives.
"My three children didn't really get a chance to know how fantastic their grandfather was,” said Michael Thompson, son of Captain Thompson.
He said he hopes ceremonies like these remind everyone of the great sacrifice first responders made on 9/11.