Not all victims of 9-11 were two-legged.Sirius was a member of the NY/NJ Port Authority Police Department and worked as an Explosives Detection Dog. He and his partner, Police Officer David Lim, were assigned to the World Trade Center’s Tower Two.On September 11, 2001, David and Sirius were in the basement below the World Trade Center’s South Tower when he heard the sound of an explosion and felt the building tremble violently.
Duty-bound to assist potentially injured civilians, Lim thought he would be more effective free-handed. He secured Sirius in his kennel saying, “I’ll be back for you.” At that time, he couldn’t think of a safer place for his canine companion to be than in the basement while he was up doing the rescues.
Officer Lim never came back. He was trapped in the falling debris of the North Tower and he wasn’t pulled out until more than five hours later. After miraculously surviving he was rushed into an ambulance. Unfortunately, Sirius, tragically perished.
Sirius’ body was recovered on 22 January, 2002 in the wreckage of the South Tower. When the kennel was found, Officer Lim was notified and he was there for the recovery. From all accounts, Sirius was killed instantly. He was ceremoniously removed from Ground Zero with a full honor guard. All the great machines were silenced, and everyone lined up and saluted as his flag draped body was carried to a waiting police truck. Sirius was cremated and the American flag which had covered the body of Sirius was given to Officer Lim. He had fulfilled his promise to Sirius – “He waited and I came back.”
“He was very special. All dogs go home with us, so not only was he my partner, but he was also my pet and my friend.” The bond between a K-9 and his master is special, and while David realizes the human tragedy will overshadow the death of his dog, he still misses Sirius. “We were very close; no matter where I went, he went. Whatever I asked him to do, he did. He never complained. Sometimes we’d be working for long hours, searching hundreds of cars or trucks, and he’d just look at me like, ‘What do you want me to do now?’ ”
A memorial service was held for Sirius on April 24th, 2002 at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, where 400 people attended including 100 K-9 teams from across the country. He was the only K9 killed that day.
May’s comments: Their lives are short. While we live on with the memories of 9/11 – it is believed that all the canines involved in the rescue and search have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.