‘Your Dad Is Proud’: Daughter of Cop Who Died in 9/11 Sworn into NYPD


Her father may have died in the line of duty, but that didn’t stop newly sworn in NYPD rookie Jillian Suarez from following in her hero’s footsteps.

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NYPD Officer Ramon Suarez was killed on Sept. 11, 2001, while trying to rescue people at the World Trade Center after it was attacked by terrorists, WPIX-TV reported.

Ramon Suarez hailed a taxi to get to the grisly scene. His last act of bravery was helping another officer save a woman who was unable to walk before he ran back to the North Tower in an attempt to save more.

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Jillian Suarez, who had just turned 9 two days before the attack, recalled praying that her father would come home.

“I heard my mom over the phone say that my father was missing,” she said. “I just ran to my room—I dropped down, and I just prayed.”

It took three months for search teams to find his body. It wasn’t until then that Jillian Suarez realized she would never see her father again.

Photographs taken on 9/11 captured Ramon Suarez as he helped people get to safety.

‘Your Dad Is Proud’: Daughter of Cop Who Died in 9/11 Sworn into Nypd

Photos taken at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, showed NYPD Officer Ramon Suarez helping people get to safety. Image source: WPIX-TV.

His daughter was not surprised when those images emerged, saying her father “was about saving people” and “that’s why he wanted to be a police officer.

George W. Bush posthumously awarded Ramon Suarez with the NYPD Medal of Honor and the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor for sacrificing his life to help others escape. A plaque at the Transit District 4 precinct in Union Square honors his sacrifice as well.

For the first 10 years after the tragedy, Jillian Suarez was unable to speak about her father’s death.

“It’s not easy to constantly go through the memorials and know and hear your father’s name on that list of all those who passed away,” she said last month.

Jillian Suarez, now 26, graduated from St. John’s University and was hired at the NYPD forensics lab, mere stepping stones to following in her father’s footsteps.

“I always saw his passion in the job and how he loved wearing that uniform, and I want to be able to help others the way he did,” she said.

On Monday, she was sworn into the NYPD Police Academy, as her father was a generation before her.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill singled Jillian Suarez out at the swear-in ceremony, congratulating her.

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“I know your dad is proud you’re wearing his shield, today, Jillian, and so are we,” O’Neill said.

During the ceremony, Jillian Suarez could feel her father’s presence.

“When I felt that confetti coming down, I felt him hugging me instead,” she said.