In Memory of Detective Anthony N. Brognano
On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, the US lost another life to September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on our nation. Detective Anthony N. Brognano, age 55, died due to cancer developed after working with the search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.
A proud wearer of badge number 5109 as a New York’s Finest member, Brognano was a detective with the Brooklyn South Gang Unit. As many did that fateful day, Brognano rushed to the Twin Towers site to help save lives. So many heroes came forward on that day, running into the fire to save the lives of others.
On September 11, 2001, nineteen suicide bombers hijacked four commercial airplanes and used the planes as weapons against American targets. The bombers were part of the al Qaeda network. Two airliners hit the World Trade Center or the Twin Towers. One plane flew directly into the Pentagon, hoping to disable the American Military response. On the fourth plane, passengers became aware of the fate of the other planes and took a vote to fight back. The plane came down in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
On the day of the event, 2,799 people – men, women, and children- died due to the attacks. Overall, 72 law enforcement officers were killed on 9/11. These men and women were made up of courage as they ran in to save lives. It is estimated that their actions may have helped save nearly 25,000 people. Unfortunately, almost 18 years later, many lives are still being lost. During this period in 2019, the loss of law enforcement to this attack is still high. Five officers were lost in four weeks around August 2019. The number of those lost is still rising.
New York City Police Department, New York
Established in May 1845, the NYPD is one of the US’s oldest and largest police departments. The agency has a significant reputation as “New York’s Finest,” which came from Police Chief George Matsell, who consistently referred to his officers as “the finest police force in the world.” It was an adaptation of the claim made in 1863 by General Joseph Hooker regarding “the finest army on the planet.”
The motto of the NYPD is “Fidelis ad Mortem.” The meaning of this Latin phrase is “Faithful unto death.” For any person to take an oath to be faithful in protecting others to the extent of their own lives shows the heart of a hero.
In the case of NYPD, officers have proven their ability to be the “finest” time and time again. Faithful unto death, the motto, led officers to run into the burning towers to save others at the cost of their own lives. Indeed, men and women, who regard their fellow man with such great significance, have earned the title “New York’s Finest.” A department filled with heroes, like Detective Anthony Brognano.
Detective Anthony N. Brognano leaves behind his wife and three children. The Brognano name will be added to the long list of those lost to this tragedy. However, the family may find some solace when visiting the memorial built for those lost due to the terrorist attack. New York and surrounding area police departments joined the Brognano family in celebrating the life lived by Detective Brognano and demonstrated the significance of this loss. In September of 2021, twenty years after the attack, Brognano’s name and 100 other fallen officers were added to the 911 Memorial.
NYPD Police Benevolent Association posted news of the loss on their social media pages. “We recently lost another hero to 9/11 related illness. Brooklyn DA Squad Det. Anthony Brognano made it his life’s work to keep NYC safe. Let us not forget his sacrifices or his family that he left behind.”
Support group UP-110 posted the news, noting Brognano was the 3rd officer lost in three days from the NYPD. “Well, another hero has fallen the third in three days! NYPD Detective Anthony N Brognano passed from his battle with 9/11 cancer. This career law enforcement hero fought like a warrior and left behind a beautiful family, amazing friends, and so many colleagues who helped shape his amazing career in the NYPD. Anthony, your journey to God’s army of angels is complete, Sir.”