Friday, September 11, 2009

Tribute to a fallen officer

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.


  1. Such a tragic loss! What goes unsaid is that this heroic man struggled daily against the condemnation of his fellow officers, and against the smears of drug warriors unfit to look him in the eye. If only we all had his courage and intelligence!

  2. This is very sad. 911 was the reason I bought a TV set. I was just a driven work-o-holic slaving away and only getting my news online.

    But that morning the radio awoke me and uncharacteristically the DJ was calling for everyone to pray! Now that got my attention.

    Before I left for my first appt. I was able to figure out what was going on, somewhat. And frankly it'd hit me like so many others, I could only barely bring myself to go out and do my assigned tasks.

    I'm still not a fan of TV, but the "Emergency Alert System" comes through the TV and there's no "push" notification from online, however, I do learn a lot more and a lot faster though the net.

    I agree with Davek, I wish we all had the strength and courage to run to trouble and those in need, like John Perry did, rather than running from it.

    Jesus said that people who loose their lives for his sake will find it for eternal life. Yes, that's what John did. (Luke 9:24, Matthew 25:31-46)

  3. Thanks for the comments. I agree it must have been difficult for Perry to oppose the War on Drugs. I've looked around the Internet for more info about this aspect of his life but I haven't been able to find much.

    At the time of 9/11 I was working in the province of Quebec. I remember getting in the elevator that morning and finding out from a colleague that a plane had struck the WTC. A lot of my co-workers were worried about their own safety because we worked on the eighth floor of an office building in downtown Montreal. At the time no one knew if there would be more attacks in other cities. Around noon all employees were sent home and I ended up watching TV - Aaron Brown on CNN - for the rest of the day.


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