Remembering 9/11

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 12:07 p.m. September 26, 2016

Sergeant Jose Camacho has attended every 9/11 memorial.

Flags and flowers
Flags and flowers left in remembrance at the September 11 Memorial

He has been part of a contingent of Canadian law enforcers who have made the trip, south of the border, every September, to support emergency-services members who lost hundreds of colleagues during the deadly 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“It’s something I look forward to each year,” he said. “This was the 15th anniversary and the commemorative ceremony was a bit higher profile than normal.”

Camacho was among nearly 60 uniformed and civilian members who went to New York for this year’s event.

Men in police uniform, some armed, others holding flags
Toronto Officers alongside NYPD Counterterrorism Unit officers at the World Trade Center

“This year, we paid tribute to the 24 Canadian families who lost loved ones during the attacks by standing guard at the Queen Elizabeth II Commonwealth memorial garden,” Camacho said. “We also took part in the New York Police Department Emerald Society Memorial Parade which started near Ground Zero and concluded at the Police Memorial at North Cove.”

During the parade, Traffic Services Sergeant Michael Mersereau put his partner Sgt. Frank De Lio's hat on a young boy who was impressed by the police surrounding him. The boy’s grandfather was a police officer who died in the attacks.

A man in TPS uniform with a boy
Sergeant Michael Mersereau with a boy who lost his grandfather, a NYPD officer, in the 9/11 attacks

“His grandmother was very appreciative and she remarked that the gesture made a very solemn day just a little brighter for their family,” Camacho said.

In addition to Toronto, officers from Ottawa, Peel, Quebec and the Ontario Provincial Police represented Canada. 

Two men in police uniform standing together
Superintendent Sam Fernandes with New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill at the memorial
Men and women in TPS uniform with flags
Officers honoured Canadians who died in the 9/11 attacks at the Queen Elizabeth II Commonwealth Memorial Garden
TPS crest watermark