TRIBUTE: It’s the final roll call today for a Port Authority Police veteran who made international headlines after his trusted partner — a bomb detection dog named Sirius — became the only canine to die in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
Lt. David Lim leaves the department after 34 years of distinguished service.
He takes with him many fond — and some not-so-fond — memories.
The morning of the attacks, Lim put Sirius in the basement kennel at Tower Two with the promise: “I’ll be back for you.”
He then dashed to Tower One and ran up 43 flights of stairs to help in the evacuation.
Lim had reached a lower floor with a woman he was carrying down Stairwell B when the building collapsed, burying them.
“It was like an avalanche,” he said. “We were just waiting there to die.”
Rescuers got to Lim about five hours later — making him one of only 16 survivors of the Tower One collapse (along with a dozen firefighters and three civilians).
Efforts so secure the area prevented Lim from getting back to Sirius, however.
He then tried joining the search and rescue team, but doctors stopped Lim out of concern for his emotional health.
After being found four months later, the 4-year-old yellow Labrador retriever had a hero’s removal — complete with a prayer, a salute and an American flag over the body bag — and funeral.
“All the machinery was stopped—the same thing that is done for human police officers and firefighters,” Lim said. “I thought it was very nice.”
After Sirius’ cremation, Lim held a ceremony at Liberty State Park in Jersey City that featured a 21-gun salute, as handlers and their dogs filed by a wooden urn and medal dedicated to him.
Lim cried when he was handed Sirius’s metal bowl, recovered from the wreckage.
Everything stops at the Port Authority Police Department precinct at LaGuardia Airport in Queens at 2:30 this afternoon. This time it’s for Sirius’ best friend.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.