The impact of the 9/11 terror attacks is hitting the NYPD hard as more officers continue to die. NY1 Criminal Justice Reporter Dean Meminger was at a ceremony Friday for the fallen heroes and has the details.
An increasing number of NYPD officers are dying from cancer and other illnesses contracted from working amid the rubble of the World Trade Center after the September 11th attacks.
In the last year, more have died than in any previous year. On Friday, those men and women were saluted for their sacrifice.
"Today, we honor 33 officers who passed away after service at Ground Zero," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in remarks at the ceremony Friday.
"They did everything they could to rescue their brother and sister officers and civilians," de Blasio continued. "They did everything they could to help this city recover."
Their names where placed on plaques on the NYPD's Memorial Wall.
23 NYPD officers died when the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11. 343 firefighters and 37 Port Authority officers were also killed.
But the police department says that since then, 130 city police officers have died because of toxins they inhaled at the site. And many others are seriously ill.
"And they are a reminder that the tragedy of September 11, 2001 has never ended for us, or for our city," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.
Sergeant Charles Gunzelman was one of those honored. His family had mixed emotions.
"It is difficult, but then also I think just such an honor for the family," one relative said.
"For my kids to see the legacy of a hero, a true hero," said another relative.
"And it makes us proud," the mayor said. "But it also makes us very sad to think that so many families are suffering to this very day the effects of that tragic moment."
Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo was also honored. The 19-year-veteran was shot and killed in the Bronx last November while responding to the call of a man threatening his estranged wife with a gun.
The city says there are 915 names on the Memorial Wall in the Hall of Heroes. Those names date back to 1849.
The NYPD knows that next year, more names will have to be added.