The names of 47 Finest who died from 9/11-related illnesses were added to the Fallen Heroes Memorial in Battery Park City on Friday.
Arthur Halbran, 92, lost his daughter, Officer Diane Halbran, in September 2017 after she fell ill from her heroic 9/11 rescue efforts.
“I am so proud of her. She was always proud to be a police officer. She was proud to be an American. And I’m glad that she’s my daughter,” said the emotional father.
Susan O’Malley, the cop’s sister, said Officer Halbran was on vacation when the Twin Towers were struck by terrorist hijackers but came to work anyway.
“She got sick in April 2017 and died six months later,” O’Malley said.
“We’ve been to many ceremonies, this was one of the most beautiful.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who presided over the Manhattan ceremony alongside Police Commissioner James O’Neill, said the memorial is a moment to remember just how much members of service sacrifice.
“When I see this wall, I am reminded of the meaning of this police department, why it is so extraordinary,” the mayor said.
He commended the NYPD for its fortitude in the face of danger, saying that most people wouldn’t run toward danger the way police do and that these 47 officers “not only went near and toward the danger, they kept working until the job was done.”
O’Neill spoke to the diversity that makes up the NYPD and said that even though the officers are all from different backgrounds and cultural traditions, they “had at least one thing in common.
“Their lives were spent and ultimately ended in service to this great city and the people they cared so dearly about,” O’Neill said.
“They worked month after month in the largest rescue and recovery effort in our nation’s history.
“They thought only of getting the job done, despite the risk to their own health and safety. Why? Because that’s what cops do.”
The president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, said the ceremony is “one of the most important days” for not just cops in the city but also their family members.
“[They] sacrifice sometimes more than we do,” he said. “We choose to be here. We choose to be cops. Our families don’t always choose, but unfortunately deal with the suffering and the sickness in the aftermath.”
He noted soberly that Friday’s service won’t be the last and that the wall’s list is only going to grow.
“Sometimes you look at this wall, you realize there are black slates to the right and to the left, and then you think about why,” Lynch said.
“They’re blank because they’re leaving them open for the names that are going to come in the future.”
Additional reporting by Gabrielle Fonrouge
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