The daughter of a police officer who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks graduated from the New York Police Department Police Academy on Monday, WPIX reported.
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Jillian Suarez, 26, said she wanted to continue the legacy of her father, Ramon Suarez, who was killed while trying to save people at the World Trade Center.
“When the confetti came down, I felt him hugging me,” Suarez told reporters after the ceremony. “I’ve always loved law enforcement, but obviously when my dad had passed away, I realized that I wanted to follow his footsteps, and I want to continue the legacy.”
Suarez, had turned 9 two days before the terrorist attacks.
Ramon Suarez, 45, and his partner, Mark Ellis, were New York Police Department officers who commandeered a taxi cab and drove it to the World Trade Center after they heard that two planes had crashed into the buildings, the New York Post reported.
Suarez ran into north tower three times, saving an asthmatic woman and then a woman who was seven months pregnant, the newspaper reported. He died during his third trip into the building. Ellis also died that day, the Post reported.
“I know your dad is proud you're wearing his shield today Jillian and so are we," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said during the ceremony. "Congratulations, Police Officer Suarez."
Suarez will be wearing her father's shield number -- 12671 -- when she begins work in New York's Ninth Precinct, the Post reported.