Today marks the 8th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed over 3000 people and injured 6000 more in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
John Perry died that morning. He was a New York city police officer, a Libertarian and an ACLU activist who called for an end to the War on Drugs. From his dedication page on the LEAP web site:
"On that morning, John Perry was at One Police Plaza in lower Manhattan filing his retirement papers when he heard that the first plane had hit the World Trade Center. Without hesitation, he asked for his badge back, promising that he'd return later to finish filling out the papers and he went to help. He lost his life that day, rescuing others. He was on the first mezzanine of Tower One with some of his buddies, when it collapsed. Some of his buddies made it out, John did not."
In his memory, the John W. Perry Fund awards scholarships to students denied federal financial aid due to drug convictions. Please visit the site to apply for a scholarship or to make a donation to the fund yourself. Perhaps Congressman Jim McDermott said it best:
"It's really just stupid and laughable. You want to deny a kid access to higher education and condemn him to a life of poverty and minimum wage jobs for the rest of his life? Is that what John Perry would have wanted? John Perry didn't stand around at the World Trade Center asking people if they had a drug conviction!"
In life we never know when we will be called upon to meet an extraordinary challenge. On this day eight years ago, Officer Perry rose to the occasion and in doing so he became an American hero.
May he rest in peace.