In Memory of Police Officer Raymond Harris
On Sunday, August 4, 2019, nearly 18 years after the fall of the Twin Towers, the US is still losing lives to the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. Police Officer Raymond Harris, age 52, died due to cancer he developed after working the search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center. Police Officer Raymond Harris had served the city of New York for over 22 years.
On September 11, 2001, nineteen suicide bombers hijacked four American passenger airlines. The terrorist hijackers were a part of the al Qaeda network. The terrorist network was known across the globe and was headed by Osama bin Laden.
September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attack
On the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorist hijackers working for the al Qaeda network and Osama bin Laden crashed four hijacked planes. The hijackers used the aircraft to crash into the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. On that morning, 72 officers from eight local, state, and federal agencies were killed trying to rescue victims.
After the first impact into the World Trade Center’s North Tower, many first responders reacted, putting others’ safety before their own. Law enforcement, fire departments, and EMS personnel – all heroes – rushed into the burning Twin Towers to help lead victims to safety. Due to their quick actions that more than 25,000 individuals were saved. More than 500 first responders, survivors, and residents of Manhattan have died from 9/11 related illnesses in the 19 years since the attacks.
New York City Police Department
A New York’s Finest member,’ Harris served his career with the New York City Police Department. The department has a long history dating back to when it was first established as a municipal police department in 1845. It wasn’t long after that the city’s Mayor, William Havemeyer, coined the still well-loved phrase “New York City’s Finest.”
One of the most outstanding achievements of the NYPD to protect the community was the establishment of the Real-Time Crime Center. The top-notch technologically advanced center has given NYPD the information to identify crime patterns and stop new crimes from occurring.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and granddaughter. The Harris family name was added to the memorial for the 9/11 victims in September 2021. The family may find some solace in the beautiful memorial built for families of the fallen. The Harris family will be forever proud that Officer Raymond Harris was a true hero, putting others before himself throughout his life.
The NYPD 77th District posted the news about Officer Harris in an extensive post on Facebook. “If you looked up the word “gentleman” in any dictionary, you would likely find the definition to read, “a chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man.” If anyone who ever met Police Officer Raymond Harris were to write a dictionary, it would certainly include a picture of Ray directly under that definition. Officer Harris was appointed to the New York City Police Department on October 15, 1990. After his assignment to the 77th Precinct, he quickly became a fixture, a leading figure, a voice of reason, and a source of great advice and knowledge. If you had any question or any problem, Ray would be the first person most other officers would turn to.”
The department district continued to claim that Harris was an inspiration to others. “After the attacks of 9/11, like thousands of other heroic and dedicated officers, Officer Harris was exposed to the toxic dust and debris that blanketed lower Manhattan and blew across the region. Little did he know, this toxic brew would eventually cost Ray his life. The effects of 9/11 would go on to ravage Ray’s body in unimaginable ways, but Ray fought this horrible disease for years, proclaiming to the world that he would fight until he won. He fought and fought hard until the very end. His battle was an inspiration to his friends and former coworkers, especially when he was so excited to remind us that he was beating the odds and even his doctor’s predictions. Sadly, his body could fight no longer, and we lost this gentle giant, a true gentleman, on August 4, 2019. Police Officer Raymond G Harris will never be forgotten here in the 77th Precinct, his memory living on in the hearts and minds of every cop that had the pleasure of serving beside him. Rest easy, brother; we’ll take it from here. Fidelis Ad Mortem.”