9/11 hero’s daughter joins NYPD
In his final act of heroism before dying on 9/11, Officer Ramon Suarez helped a seven-months-pregnant woman escape the hellscape.
Suarez’s impact continued to reverberate 16 years after his sacrifice, as his daughter was sworn in Thursday as a new NYPD recruit. “I’m pretty sure he’s very proud of me,” said Jillian Suarez, 25, after her class of 270 was sworn in at the Police Academy in College Point, Queens.
“I grew up with my father walking in and out of the house with his uniform constantly on, and I’ve always admired him for that.”
The last time Ramon Suarez walked out of that door was Sept. 11, 2001, two days after Jillian turned 9. The 45-year-old Transit District 4 cop and his partner were stationed at the Delancey Street F-train station on that bright Tuesday morning when the first plane slammed into the north tower at 8:46 a.m.
After word broke of a second plane crashing into the south tower, the two commandeered a taxi and gunned it into the chaos.
Suarez ran into the north tower and carried to safety an asthmatic woman who was gasping for air after descending 49 flights of smoke-filled stairs.
Suarez ran in a second time, and offered a shoulder to pregnant Jyoti Vyas, escorting the IT worker to a makeshift first-aid center after her own grueling climb down from the 78th floor.
“I remember outside of the tower [Suarez] said, ‘Do you need help?’ My head was filled [with] thinking that I couldn’t feel my baby move,” Vyas told The Post by phone on Thursday.
“He brought me across the street to the triage center.”
Suarez disappeared one more time into the flames, ash and twisted metal, never to be seen alive again. From Suarez’s sacrifice came life, as two months later, Vyas gave birth to a healthy daughter, Parvathy, now 16.
That same month, then-NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik eulogized Suarez as young Jillian sat in the front row, clutching her hero dad’s patrol hat.
“Ray Suarez loved this shield. He loved that uniform,” Kerik said. “He did exactly what he would do every day — he represented the NYPD’s best.”
Now, Jillian Suarez is trying to represent that same best.
“[My father] has always called me his little girl, so I would definitely know for sure he is smiling down on me,” said the newly minted probie, who aspires to work in forensics.
Added Vyas, “I’m very proud of her. She’s following in her father’s footsteps. That’s very commendable.”
“I’m absolutely grateful [to the Ramon Suarez]. I’m very, very lucky I’m here to talk about this,” said Vyas. “I’m profoundly grateful, and at the same time it’s very sad. So many people and brave police officers and firefighters are not here.”
Additional reporting by Aaron Feis
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