Deceased Police Officer's Name Added To 9/11 Memorial
The name of Newtown police officer Stephen Ketchum, who died onÃÂ March 15, has been cut into a polished black granite wall at the 9/11 Responders Remembered Park in Nesconset, N.Y.
The family of Mr Ketchum, plus friends, and two Newtown police officers with police dog, Saint Michael, visited the memorial on May 21, for ceremonies on the addition of names to that monument.
"Steve passed away on March 15, 2016, after succumbing from his battle with lung cancer that was directly attributed to his response efforts" at the World Trade Center in Manhattan on September 11, 2001, Newtown Police Officer Maryhelen McCarthy wrote in a statement issued on behalf of the Newtown Police Department.
Mr Ketchum, who would have turned 49 on June 4, joined Newtown Police Department in January 1989. He had served as the department's motorcycle officer and as a deputy fire marshal before his retirement in June 2014, for health reasons.
"Officer Stephen Ketchum was one of those first responders at 'ground zero,'" Ofc McCarthy wrote. On 9/11, Mr Ketchum and another Newtown police officer responded to ground zero, unaware at that time if another wave of attacks was imminent, she said.
"They raced to the city to assist other first responders, while most people were fleeing. When both men returned to Newtown, their clothes were covered in toxic ash and debris,'' she added.
In 2013, Mr Ketchum's doctor told him that he had lung cancer that was brought on by the toxins present at ground zero, Ofc McCarthy said.
The memorial park on Long Island is dedicated to "those brave souls as a way of showing loved ones and families that their heroic actions will never be forgotten," she said.
Twice a year, the names of responders who have died as a result of 9/11 are added to the memorial.