FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2020
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Bureau (609) 882-2000
Major Brian Polite - ext. 6514
SFC Jeff Flynn - ext. 6516
Sgt. Lawrence Peele - ext. 6531
Sgt. Philip Curry - ext. 6515
Tpr. Alejandro Goez - ext. 6527
Tpr. Charles Marchan - ext. 6513
West Trenton, N.J. - Today marks the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which remains the deadliest attack on American soil. Nearly 3,000 people died that day in the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, and in Shanksville, PA, after passengers and crew members overpowered hijackers before the plane crashed to the ground. Sadly, September 11th continues to claim victims.
The recovery efforts at Ground Zero continued for several months after the collapse of the towers. Hundreds of volunteers and first responders combed through the mountainous pile of debris in an effort to rescue and recover victims. Contaminated air at the site caused many police officers, firefighters, and emergency services personnel to become ill, and several have lost their lives.
New Jersey State Police Lieutenant William G. Fearon #5147, Staff Sergeant Bryan U. McCoy #3988, and Trooper I Robert E. Nagle #5493, are among those who sustained illnesses while assisting in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero and have made the ultimate sacrifice as a result of their service. Retired New Jersey State Trooper Marc Passarella #6308, a former New York City Police Department officer who responded to Ground Zero and assisted in the recovery efforts, is currently battling an illness that he sustained as a result of his service in the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks.
Lieutenant Fearon enlisted in the New Jersey State Police on September 23, 1994, as a member of the 114th Class. He was assigned to various stations in Troops “B” and “D,” Troop “B” Operations, Troop “B” Tactical Patrol, and the Marine Services Bureau. He was dedicated to creating and developing state-of-the-art training for troopers and law enforcement officers such as active shooter scenarios, rapid response tactics, and active counter measures. Exposure to the dust and debris he encountered while assisting in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero directly resulted in a cancer diagnosis in 2015. On December 28, 2016, Lieutenant Bill “No Fear” Fearon succumbed to Glioblastoma, which is a type of brain cancer. Lieutenant Fearon served 22 years and 3 months with the New Jersey State Police. He is survived by his mother, brother, wife, and three children. He was 49 years old.
Staff Sergeant McCoy worked as a Hamilton Township police officer prior to enlisting in the New Jersey State Police on June 21, 1984, as a member of the 101st Class. He was assigned to various stations in Troop “A,” Troop “E,” and the Marine Services Bureau. S/Sgt. McCoy proudly served the citizens of New Jersey for several years before retiring in 2006. S/Sgt. McCoy developed cancer, which was linked to his response to Ground Zero following the September 11th attacks. On April 6, 2019, S/Sgt. McCoy passed away surrounded by his family at his home in Seaville, N.J. He is survived by his wife, five children, grandson, and sister. He was 57 years old.
Trooper I Nagle was a member of the New Jersey Marine Police and a graduating member of the 116A New Jersey State Police Class, serving New Jersey citizens for 34 years before retiring in November of 2006. His last assignment with the State Police was with the Commercial Carrier Safety Inspections Central Unit. Trooper Nagle also served his country for six years in the Air National Guard. On November 26, 2018, Trooper Nagle died from cancer that was determined to be the result of his exposure while serving at Ground Zero during the recovery efforts. Trooper Nagle is survived by his wife, two sons, three grandchildren, brother, and beloved dogs, Honey and Millie. He was 67 years old.
“The September 11th terrorist attacks occurred nineteen years ago, but the pain and sorrow are still fresh,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We will never forget the lives cut short that day and the first responders who selflessly saved so many more from perishing.”
“September 11th is a time to remember those we lost, especially those first responders who courageously gave their lives when our nation was attacked and those who bravely served in the dangerous rescue and recovery efforts, many of whom continue to suffer and succumb to illnesses because of their service,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “It’s a time to remember what it means to be an American. The heroes of 9/11—including Lieutenant Fearon, Sergeant McCoy, and Trooper Nagle—remind us that freedom is precious but not free. We must remain committed, as they were, to working together to preserve our nation and all it stands for.”
“Nineteen years ago today, we made a promise to the nearly 3,000 victims and their families that we would never forget, and that promise doesn’t have an expiration date. Today we honor all who were lost on that day and those who succumbed to illnesses, as a result of their response efforts, in the days, weeks, months, and years that followed, like Lieutenant Fearon, Staff Sergeant McCoy, and Trooper Nagle. We keep them and those who are still fighting for their lives in our thoughts and prayers daily,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “While we mourn those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we take solace in the fact that their heroism has inspired so many to choose a profession of service—many, like our newest troopers who graduated a week ago today, were just children at the time. The New Jersey State Police will never forget the lives lost, and we will continue to advocate for troopers and first responders who are still facing health issues as a result of their response to the 9/11 attacks."
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