ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's memorial for fallen police officers has added the names of 26 officers, including 19 who died from illnesses that followed their work in the toxic rubble of the World Trade Center 15 years ago.
The 19 were among police trying to find nearly 2,800 people lost after the twin office towers were hit by hijacked jetliners on Sept. 11, 2001, in lower Manhattan. They stayed in what became a search for bodies from the attack.
They died over the past four years. Sixteen were from the New York Police Department.
Four other officers killed last year in the line of duty were added to the memorial wall, including NYPD Detectives Randolph Holder and Brian Moore, who were shot by suspects. The names of three state game protectors killed more than 50 years ago were also added.
Family, state officials and a phalanx of uniformed officers paid tribute at the memorial Tuesday to all 26 in a small park at Empire State Plaza.
"Their selfless service at ground zero during the dark days after the terrorist strike must never be forgotten and remains an inspiration to all Americans and people around the world," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
He noted that Moore's father, uncle and cousin were police officers, that he served in an elite unit and that he made 150 arrests in less than five years until he was gunned down on a street in Queens. Holder grew up in Guyana, also from a family of law enforcement officers, and also was killed by a criminal with an illegal gun, Schneiderman said.
NYPD officers who died from ground zero illnesses were Detective James Albanese, Deputy Chief Steven Bonano, Officer James Burke, Officer Peter Ciaccio, Detective Louis Fernandez, Detective Stuart Fishkin, Inspector James Guida, Officer Cheryl Johnson, Officer Robert Kaminski, Detective Shaun Mahoney, Sgt. Patrick Murphy, Officer Peter Rodriguez, Detective John Russo, Sgt. Stephen Scalza, Capt. Scott Stelmok and Detective Richard Wentz.
Also killed by illnesses from that search and recovery work were Lt. Roy McLaughlin, Yonkers Police Department; state police Senior Investigator Thomas Moran Jr.; and Deputy U.S. Marshal Zacarias Toro.
The game protectors were Harvey Cruikshank, killed in 1926; Benning DeLaMater, who died in 1961; and Paul DuCuennois, killed in 1932.
The last two names added were Trooper Donald Fredenburg Jr., who died after a training run last year, and Sgt. Eric Meier of the Crawford Police Department in Orange County who died from a medical condition while investigating marijuana growing in a wooded area.
The black granite wall now has 1,413 names from 141 police agencies, officials said. More than half, 798, are from the NYPD.