Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Roll Call Commemorates NYPD Officers Killed On 9/11

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They have scars on their souls. That's how one veteran police officer described the continuing impact of the September 11 attacks on the NYPD on the second anniversary.

"It still feels like the day after to me," said police officer Freddie Cacace.

Thursday morning, the commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, the president of the police officers' union and a sergeant wounded at the twin towers read the names of the 23 city police officers killed two years ago, including Moira Smith and Robert Fazio, who worked in this Gramercy station-house.

"This precinct rallied very strongly,” said the commander, Deputy Inspector Paul McCormack. “It’s a very close, tight-knit precinct. I worked in quite a few precincts in my 13 years, and I’ll tell you its very tight in here. Cops are very terrific here, and they all look out for each other and treat each other very well.”

“Before September 11, these folks rode in the same radio cars each and every day,” Pat Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said. “They enjoyed each other’s families after work. It’s a true family within the NYPD. So this is the place to come, as well as the site, to show the members to show the members of the New York City Police Department that we’re all together.”

For the officers at the 13th Precinct, a memorial outside the station-house serves as a daily reminder of their loss. Some recall how close they came to not making it back that morning.

“I was in the van with Bobby Fazio and Moira Smith,” said Cacace. “Five police officers in the van, and three of us came back.”

Sergeant Joe Canney was also in that van. He had surgery on both his eyes after he was wounded by debris. Now he keeps thinking about the risk of more terrorism.

“Personally, I’m just waiting, hesitant about what’s going to happen next,” he said.

A small crowd watched the short ceremony, some perched on stoops, others peering from their apartment windows, but all sharing the same view: that the healing and the sadness continue.

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