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Remembering Sirius - Should His Name Be On The 9/11 Memorial?

Sirius, a Police K9 - Badge Number 17, was a four-and-a-half-year old, ninety pound, easygoing, yellow Labrador Retriever.  He was an Explosive Detection Dog with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.  And, he was the only police dog to die in the 9/11 attack.  

Bill Clinton with Sirius

As the story is told, on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Officer Lim and Sirius, the Explosive Detector Team for the World Trade Center, were in their South Tower basement office when Lim felt the rumbles of the first plane striking the North Tower. 

Lim, who assumed he and Sirius had somehow failed to detect an explosive told him, ‘I think we’re in a lot of trouble right now.  I’ll be back for you.’”  Officer Lim put his Sirius in his kennel and headed off to find the source of the explosion.

Making his way to the North Tower, Lim began leading others to safety when at 10:28 a.m., the building crumbled in the span of 11 seconds, killing hundreds of civilians and scores of first responders.

Lim, along with 12 FDNY firefighters, and three civilians were descending stairwell B and had made their way to the fourth floor where they became trapped amid the debris for five horrifying hours before help came.  Thirty seven PAPD cops perished on 9-11 and Lim emerged as the only cop to survive after being trapped during the ordeal, making him something of an iconic figure within the agency.  Port Authority Lt. David Lim, one of only 16 people to survive the collapse of the World Trade Center North Tower, retired in July 2014 after 34 years on the job.

Sirius Water Bowl Tribute

Unfortunately, on Jan. 22, 2002, the remains of Sirius were uncovered still in his kennel.   Sirius was kept in the Port Authority office in the South Tower for his safety during the chaos following the plane collision into the North Tower.  No one could have predicted the South Tower would also collapse.  

The Twin Towers collapses killed 2,606 people in the towers and on the ground, including 37 Port Authority officers, and Sirius, Port Authority Police Department K-9 #17.   

It was reported that Sirius had over 400 people at his funeral.  In the image, David Lim holds Sirius’ watering bowl recovered in the wreckage from September 11.

Lim later remembered, "He was a big mush. You thought he was a lap dog, even though he was almost 100 pounds.  He was very methodical.  It was very cute watching him work.”

 

 

 

Sirius Dog Run

 

In memory of Sirius, a dog run was created in Kowsky Plaza which is west of Liberty Street and east of Esplanade on an old pumping station.

Unfortunately, Sirius’ name is not engraved in the 9/11 Memorial. There is still a petition to add Sirius to the memorial that was started on Sept. 11, 2014 by Elizabeth Wales, a college student in Tennessee.  

According to Wales, the memorial was contacted via the phone number on their website and when asked why Sirius’ name was not included on the memorial, the foundation replied “The memorial is only for the human victims.”   

The Sirius petition raises questions about the ethics around dogs and memorials, and about just where the line should be drawn for memorializing loved ones.  Sirius was a first responder, a member of the PAPD, and quite possibly the first dog killed due to international terrorism.

Tell us what you think.  Should Sirius' name be included on the 9/11 Memorial?  Should other working dogs be included on memorials of similar disasters?  Is there a distinct line?

 (for the record, we think the answer is ABSOLUTELY!!!)

Don't miss these beautiful dog photos!  "Hard-Working Dogs Honored by Photographer, Andrew Fladeboe".

 

Credits:  Global Animal, NY Times

Photo Credits:  Michael Norcia, PAPD

 

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Comments 358

  • Lisa
    Lisa

    Ok it is now October 2016…was Sirius added to 9/11 memorial? If not that is so disappointing :(

  • Nelie PAgan
    Nelie PAgan

    Sirius name should be no 1 on the list because he was a dog and not just an ordinary dog he was a police officer and died on duty he name should be everywhere so people can remember how he was and what he has done so im signing your petition

  • Elaine
    Elaine

    He was a police officer, a valued member of the PAPD and family to those he served with – the bond between a human police officer and his K9 partner is well know. Sirius should be honored with all the other PAPD officers who lost their lives that fateful, horrible day. Run free at the Rainbow Bridge Sirius, we will make sure you are not forgotten…..

  • Pamla
    Pamla

    Absolutely no doubt his name should be added!!! He gave his life in the line of duty and this should never be forgotten. I can’t even imagine the way his handler must feel, not only losing his partner, but probably one of his best friends, and a loving companion. To add insult to injury, not having his name on the wall must seem a huge travesty to his handler! Human or furry friend, he deserves no less! I give you my deepest condolences on the loss of your k9 partner, companion, and friend.

  • KJ
    KJ

    Yes!!! And I wear a metal bracelet in his honor from bracelets for America. I never take it off.

  • Brenda Ramos
    Brenda Ramos

    Yo estoy de acuerdo q pongan su nombre el es un héroe también

  • Karen Godin
    Karen Godin

    For anyone to see different that this k-9 Sirius WAS AND STILL IS A FAMILY MEMBER IS BEYOND ME.
    WE ARE ALL HUMAN THAT ARE INVOLVED IN THIS DECISION ARE WE NOT?
    THEN WHY DO SOME HUMANS CHOOSE TO DO WRONG AND FOLLOW THROUGH THEIR WRONG CHOICES IN THE END THEY HURT THEMSELVES AND THOSE AROUND THEM; DO THEY NOT?
    SOME PEOPLE NEED TO BE MORE OPEN TO EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE AROUND THEM SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE! MY HEART GOES OUT TO SIRIUS AND THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS
    AND TO THOSE THAT KNOW THE TRUE MEANING OF LOVING SOMEONE AS MUCH AS THEY LOVE THEIR PETS
    AND OTHER ANIMALS. RESPECT OF ALL THINGS IN LIFE COULD CLEAN UP A LOT OF MISS LEAD MINDS…
    I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR SIRIUS AND ALL THOSE THAT CAME TO LOVE HIM THAT WE ALL FIND PEACE ONCE HIS NAME IS ADDED TO THE MONUMENT WHERE IT SHOULD BE; AS A RESPECTED FAMILY MEMBER!

  • Niki
    Niki

    ADD THIS HEROS NAME

  • Barbara Speed
    Barbara Speed

    Please, yes!

  • Kay P
    Kay P

    this is a no brainier - ABSOLUTELY!

  • Karen
    Karen

    Absolutely!

  • Debbie
    Debbie

    Without hesitation, YES, his name should be on the memorial! He deserves it as much as anyone else who lost their life that day. He surely was a great loss to someone who loved him. Why is this even in question?

  • Kristina Forsha
    Kristina Forsha

    Yes, he deserves to be included in the memorial. He died a horrible death along with the other people that died and he deserves to be remembered on the 9/11 memorial. Besides, he’s a dog he’s supposed to be mans best friend, and therefore he should be included. But, I would say this if it were a cat too.

  • Marsha tappen
    Marsha tappen

    Absolutely he should be included on the wall…..he earned every bit….RIP Sir rest well dear pup.

  • Brenda Bailey
    Brenda Bailey

    Absolutely!

  • Judith King
    Judith King

    Sirius was just as much a cop as any other and he died in the tower. He certainly should be on the memorial.

  • Judith King
    Judith King

    Sirius was just as much a cop as any other and he died in the tower. He certainly should be on the memorial.

  • Lori Ssebulime
    Lori Ssebulime

    The Memorial is not complete until Sirius is added.

  • Theresa
    Theresa

    YES, there should be no doubt about this, he was a police officer and deserves to be on that wall <3 Lt. David W. Lim I am so sorry for your lose ;(. I couldn’t even imagine what he felt being locked up during all of this, I know how scared he must of been, but God needed him to guide all the victims to heaven for their safe passage during this terrible time ;( God rest your soul little man, you will never be forgotten.;(

  • Laura Allen
    Laura Allen

    They should not have locked him up. He is a police officer who would give his life for his partner, Yes! he deserves to be on the wall as well as all the other rescue dogs that died because of this tragedy.

  • Patricia Hughes
    Patricia Hughes

    Yes! He died for protecting our country and definitely should be included on the memorial.

  • Lt. David W. Lim (ret.) PAPD (Sirius's handler)
    Lt. David W. Lim (ret.) PAPD (Sirius's handler)

    To all,

    I am overwhelmed by the positive response to this article about putting my partner’s name on the 9/11 Memorial. I hope and pray that it does not fall upon the deaf ears of those in charge of making this decision. Know this. On the day his name IS included, I will be there to honor him and tell all about the support that he has from around the world.

    Thank you again for your support! :)

    Lt. David W. Lim (ret.) PAPD
    Sirius’s handler

  • Bobbi Choquette
    Bobbi Choquette

    1000000% YES!!! My question to you is: How can you even ask a question like that? He is a hero for God’s sake

  • Lorraine Campbell
    Lorraine Campbell

    Yes, absolutely he should be included. Please tell me if there is a link to the petition so, I can sign or if this serves as my signature. Come on 9/11 memorial people, why would you want to leave his name off of a memorial that includes all who were lost that day in the towers? This beautiful and brave friend who gladly would have run in and worked to save people if given the chance.
    Lorraine Dahl Campbell

  • Pamm Banduric
    Pamm Banduric

    It is appalling that Sirius’s name has still not been added to the 9/11 Memorial along with all the others who died at the Tower’s on 9/11. I was shocked and appalled when he was not included when the memorial was first put up and am even more so that his name has still not been added. It is a disgrace that the excuse is that it is ONLY for humans. This dog served the citizens of NY and gave his life in doing so. That he was not of the Human Species is a poor excuse for not being included and is a disgrace. Add his name….he gave his life serving the people, the least they could do is to honor and remember him by adding his name. Shame on all of those who made this decision.

  • Joyce
    Joyce

    There is no question, his name should be on the list. What a shame it isn’t there already.

  • Gail Duff
    Gail Duff

    So 332 comments later..the question should be changed to "When will Sirius’s name be put on the memorial? It’s quite clear that everyone agrees, this dog was a hero and deserves to be remembered as such.

  • Deb Ciraulo
    Deb Ciraulo

    A better question would be, “Why wasn’t his name included on the memorial?”. He had a police badge and he was trapped in the tower when it collapsed just as police officers and firemen were. I have no doubt he was as terrified as they were. Do the right thing and add his name to the memorial.

  • Jessica Rana
    Jessica Rana

    Please add Sirius’ name to the memorial. Animals are pure innocence and he did not ask to be there. At the very least, this sweet angels name should be added to the list.

  • Joanne Godfrey
    Joanne Godfrey

    100% YES Sirius should be included on the Memorial. He was amongst all the terror just as much as any one else IF Not more. He Helped find the Lost, Wounded and Dead and even Comforted the Firemen on their breaks, the people who were lost and distraught just by being there as a friend and friendly pet. He did the Work of 10, and kept on working till exhausted.
    SIRIUS, IS and WAS a Very Brave Hero and Certainly Does Deserve to have his Name on the Memorial. :) <3

    RIP SIRIUS you did America Proud. Love always from Sydney Australia :) <3

  • Ginger
    Ginger

    This post has been shared around Facebook, and the resounding answer is YES!!! Sirius is one of the many hero’s killed that day, and he should be remembered as one! Run with the Angels, Sirius!

  • Valerie Alley
    Valerie Alley

    Yes. No doubt.

  • Vicki
    Vicki

    That is a very dumb question. Where do you draw a ‘distinct’ line. Anyone and everyone who was killed on that day should be honored. On that day there was no difference between an adult, a child, a dog or a cat.

  • Joyce Geibel
    Joyce Geibel

    A hero is a hero. Sirius deserves to be remembered on the memorial.

  • Tania Eases
    Tania Eases

    All should be remembered whether human or not. God bless them all.

  • Maria Vicareo
    Maria Vicareo

    Sirius should absolutely be on the 9/11 Memorial! He was a living being who was a part of that tragedy and is missed by those who knew and loved him. He was also a part of the first responders team. He died in the line of duty.

  • Venda Bye Sloan
    Venda Bye Sloan

    Sirius should be listed alongside all of the first responders who lost their lives. He was doing his job along with the rest that was trained to do their jobs n so was Sirius,n he deserves recognition just like everyone else. He lost his life doing he’s job just like the other responders that listed their lives. Sirius belongs on the 9/11 Memorial list n he deserves to be remembered next to the other responders. RIP Sirius we ❤️You n Miss you. Thanks for your service always remembered. ?❤️?❤️?❤️?❤️?❤️?❤️???

  • Anne Bahro
    Anne Bahro

    YES Sirius should added to the memorial! He was a member from a team which protected people and deserve the same honor like human members!

  • Teddy Wambold
    Teddy Wambold

    Most definitely Sirius should immediately be included on the memorial. Dogs are loyal and loving and when given a task steadfast in it’s accomplishment. This oversight must be rectified immediately if not sooner.

  • Nancy
    Nancy

    We use animals for everything, entertainment, torture, abuse, to experiment on, eat, and to protect us. Now we are questioning their importance in our lives?!!!! Putting this animal’s name on the memorial should have been done immediately. Do it now.

  • marge schaefer
    marge schaefer

    of course he should be added to the memorial. he was a member of the police dept.

  • Kathleen Eaton
    Kathleen Eaton

    Did Sirius die in the bombing of the World Trade Center? Was he there in the course of performing his duties? The answer to both is “Yes.” That is all that needs to be said to make the case for including him among the honored dead.

  • Lee Ann Drumm
    Lee Ann Drumm

    Of course it should be on there!!!!!!!

  • Phyllis woodel
    Phyllis woodel

    Sirius served, so he deserves. Found still in his kennel.where his partner stationed him. All honors available are due him. He certainly earned his Guardian Angel Wings that day.

  • Robin
    Robin

    Sirius was considered a team member and partner in life- why not in death? This wrong needs to be righted immediately!!!

  • Ana esc
    Ana esc

    Of course!

  • Teresa
    Teresa

    Yes Sirius name should be on the memorial. He spent his life in service of protecting others and putting his life on the line each and everyday. Just because he was a 4 legged officer instead of a 2 legged on does not mean his life was any less important then the other officers that died that day.

  • cynthia Hodge
    cynthia Hodge

    Please consider adding him to the list of heroes of that day. The last surviving Golden Retriever from Texas who assisted in recovering bodies following 9/11 was rightfully so given a day of recognition for her part and was given an engraved stone with her name on it this year!

  • Janet Denti
    Janet Denti

    this shouldn’t t even have to be discussed. Sirius should be honored as the hero that he was just like everyone else on September 11, 2001.????

  • Kathryn Boris
    Kathryn Boris

    OF COURSE! Sirius’ name should be on the memorial! Along with all other working dog victims!