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Memorial Held For Only Police Dog Killed In WTC Attack

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TWC News: Memorial Held For Only Police Dog Killed In WTC Attack
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It was a bittersweet day for David Lim, as the Port Authority police officer said a final farewell to the K-9 partner he lost on September 11.

“I'll never forget this day as long as I live,” Lim said. “I thought 9/11 was a day I'll never forget but I think this one is getting close to it.”

More than 100 K-9 units from across the country gathered at Liberty State Park Wednesday to honor Sirius, the only search and rescue dog killed in the terrorist attacks.

The 5-year-old yellow Labrador retriever was trapped in his kennel in the basement of tower two while Lim helped with the rescue efforts. And although Lim survived the horrific attacks, his partner didn't.

Four months later, while Lim was still grieving the loss of his best friend, he received news of Sirius' recovery.

“All the machines stopped, all the work seized, and our officers along with officer Lim, carried Sirius out in a ceremonial fashion,” said Port Authority Chief William Caffaro. “The honor guard was formed for this wonderful dog.”

Recovery workers from Fresh Kills Landfill surprised Lim when they presented him with Sirius' dog bowl. The bowl was recovered inside Lim's car, which was buried in the rubble of the collapsed tower.

“It just looks like a regular food bowl, but it means so much to me, and the inscription: I gave my life so that you can save others,” Lim said.

Officers at the memorial said it’s important to recognize the dogs as well as the civilians who work to save lives.

“More recently, dogs are put in the line of fire, that's their job to take a bullet,” said Debra Faiello of a New Jersey K-9 unit. “In this particular case, it wasn't a bullet, but nonetheless, they're put in harms way to save people's lives.”

“People underestimate it and you can't really understand it until you've been a K-9 officer,” said Sgt. James Pasquale of the K-9 unit of Atlantic City. “It's a bond built out of love and respect. This dog would die for me. He would do anything I would ask him to do, and that’s mainly why we're here - to honor the memory so that K-9 Sirius and any fallen K-9 is never forgotten.”

Sitting patiently at his side was Lim's new partner, Sprig.

“I'm moving on,” Lim said. “I have a new partner and as I said, he's got big paws to fill.”

- John Schiumo
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