I had heard all about Sirius, the police dog that perished on Sept. 11. He and his human partner (Officer Lim) worked in the basement of one of the towers and he was placed in his crate to keep him safe, since he was not a search and rescue dog, while Lim investigated what sounded like a bomb. Once found, Sirius' remains were removed by Mr. Lim and he was treated as a hero. All construction stopped. His flag draped body was saluted.
What I didn't know was that he lived in my town! I don't know why they decided to publish it now, but our local weekly town paper ran an article today all about Sirius, his human partner, and they lived together with 2 other retired canines and the man's family here where I live.
Yes, he still lives here -but travels a lot. Here's the article.
Partners til the end
By Mary Malloy October 12, 2006
Officer David Lim and Sirius
"I'll be back to get you," were the last words Port Authority Officer David Lim said to his partner on the morning of September 11, 2001.
They were on duty in the basement of Tower Two of the World Trade Center when Lim heard an explosion shortly before 9 a.m. Thinking he would be more effective alone, he took off to see what had happened. Lim said it sounded like a bomb went off. "I hope we didn't miss one, boy," he said to Sirius, his partner of two-and-a-half years. Sirius was a four-and-a-half-year old yellow Labrador Retriever, Badge #17 with the K9 unit of the Port Authority Police. His expertise was detecting explosives.
Lim and Sirius were assigned to the World Trade Center since July 4, 2000, where their primary duty was to check vehicles entering the complex, and check and clear unattended bags. "I left him in his crate as I rushed out," said Lim, a 27-year veteran with the force. "That morning, we were working 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Tower Two, when the first plane hit Tower One. " recalls Lim, "He was not a search-and-rescue dog, so I could think of no safer place for him other than the basement."
Soon, Lim became trapped in the falling debris of Tower One and wasn't rescued until five hours or more later. He was coming down to the 4th floor, and stopped to help a woman named Josephine Harris. "I helped her up on my shoulders, and helped her down the stairs. "The building collapsed while were still in the stairwell. If I had not stopped to help the woman, I would have been killed also. We call her our angel. She slowed us up enough to save us." It was fate, he said. The building fell around the stairs.
Sadly, in the meantime, Sirius had perished when Tower Two collapsed. "I was not sure what happened to him, I thought many more pockets of people had survived. I thought there were more."
The remains of the loyal Sirius were recovered on January 22, 2002. They believe he died instantly when his kennel caved-in. Lim was called down to ground zero and allowed him to help remove the body. "They brought his out with full honors, with a priest reciting, 'all creatures great and small...' The construction machines on the site were silenced, and Sirius was saluted by all in attendance as Lim carried the remains of his flag-draped partner to a waiting police truck. (The American Flag which had covered the body of Sirius was later given to Officer Lim and a Fifth Grade Class in Illinois purchased an oak Memorial Flag box for its safekeeping.)
Lim speaks around the country about his experiences, being a police officer, as an Asian, and a canine handler. He was also named co-grand marshal at the Chinese New Year parade in San Fransico, and opened the Iditerod in Alaska. He was promoted to sargeant and is stationed at Kennedy Airport. He lives in Lynbrook with his wife Diane and children Debra, 19, a college student, and Michael, 17, who attends Valley Stream South.
His former canine partners, Lena, 13, who retired in 2000, and Sprig 5, live with them. "They're retired and I'm not!" he jokes.
Sirius was given a special plaque in the Lynbrook 9/11 Memorial. "It's under a tree, just the way Sirius would have liked it."
"He was a wonderful partner, he was a people friendly dog," said Lim. "He thought he was a lap dog, he was such a a playful guy -- and very smart. When we wasn't working, he was the family dog. At lot of people in Lynbrook knew him because I walked him every day."