New York Police Department Detective Joe Paolillo succumbed last week at age 55 to a rare form of cancer he contracted looking for his brother on the pile at Ground Zero in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Hundreds of officers attended Saturday when the NYPD gave Paolillo an inspector’s funeral, which included a helicopter flyover and is the highest honor for an officer killed in the line of duty, reports the New York Daily News.
After the terrorist attacks on Sep. 11, 2001, Paolillo was one of the hundreds of first responders who for weeks dug through the rubble in hope of finding the remains of the dead, including his older brother, FDNY batallion chief John Paolillo, who was 51 when he died in the collapse of the World Trade Center's North Tower.
Det. Joe Paolillo is survived by his wife and three sons: Martin, John, and Raymond.