A special remembrance ceremony honoring the 72 officers who died in the line of duty during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, featured several officers who served that day and dignitaries such as U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
The rainy Friday observance, which was hosted by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), honored the 10th anniversary of the deadliest day in American law enforcement history.
"This morning, as we reflect on the profound sacrifices and contributions of the many law enforcement officers and military service members who have risen to the challenge of securing our nation over the last decade, let us also reaffirm the enduring legacy of those we have lost. [We are] a nation that is not only safer, but stronger than ever before," said A.G. Holder at the ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Following his remarks, A.G. Holder led a reading of the names of the 72 officers who died in the terrorist attacks 10 years earlier, and placed a wreath in tribute of their sacrifice. The names of these officers are engraved together continuously on line 23 of panels 9-22 on the west wall of the memorial.
"It is hard to believe that this year marks the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001," said Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of NLEOMF. "With the passage of time, the horrific events of 9/11 seem to have faded a bit from our collective consciousness. But the service and sacrifice of the 72 courageous law enforcement heroes who laid down their own lives that day for the safety and protection of others will always be remembered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial."
Among the 72 peace officers who made the ultimate sacrifice that day were 37 sworn members of the Port Authority Police Department. Also killed at the World Trade Center that day were 23 members of the New York Police Department; five members of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance; three members of the New York State Office of Court Administration; a special agent with the FBI; a master special officer with the U.S. Secret Service; and a New York City fire marshal who had sworn law enforcement powers.
In addition, Refuge Manager Richard Guadagno, a sworn officer with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, was among the passengers who died in Pennsylvania while fighting to regain control of Flight 93 from the terrorists.
The names of all 72 officers killed on 9/11 can be found on the Memorial Fund's Website. The names of 19,298 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history — since the earliest known officer fatality in 1791 — are engraved on the memorial.