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Posted: 11/21/2001 10:07:25 PM EDT
[url]www.lp.org/lpnews/0111/perry.html[/url] [October 11] The Libertarian Party of New York has created a special award in memory of an LP member who died as a "true hero" during the terrorist attacks on September 11. The first "John Perry Community Service Award" will be given out at the state party's next convention in April 2002, New York LP State Chair Richard Cooper has announced. [b]The award is named after John W. Perry, 38, a Libertarian Party member and New York City police officer who was among the approximately 5,000 people trapped by the collapse of the twin World Trade Center towers. "As a libertarian and a police officer, [John] was dedicated to defending everyone's right to life, liberty, and property," said Cooper. "[He was] a true hero. He was a great Libertarian."[/b] According to police sources, Perry was at police headquarters in lower Manhattan on September 11 to file his retirement papers. He was planning to leave the police force to join a law firm. When notice of the catastrophe at the World Trade Center came in on the police radio, Perry immediately left to help rescue citizens from the burning buildings. He was last seen on the Mezzanine of the South Tower, shortly before it collapsed. "The building was dark, and John and [a police] captain were leading people out by having them follow the sound of their voices," said Blay Tarnoff, a former New York LP State Chair. "When the building began to collapse, the captain warned John to evacuate, but John insisted on staying as long as there were people still inside. The captain barely got out in time, and saw John disappear into the dust as the building fell." Perry has not been heard from since. He was the only off-duty police officer believed to have been killed in the terrorist attack. "I was appalled when I heard the news," said Cooper. "I'm not surprised that he went over to help out immediately, though -- he was just that kind of person." That sentiment was echoed by others who knew him.
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 10:08:04 PM EDT
(continued) "John would run into a burning building to help others," said New York LP activist Christopher B. Garvey. Three weeks after his death, a "Celebration of Life" service was held for Perry in New York City, and attracted about 100 people. "Libertarians and Greens, Republican and Democrat district leaders, police officers and civil libertarians, dyed-in-the-wool conservatives and brown-rice leftists, all came together in loving memory of this man," said Tarnoff. "People spoke of his dedication as a police officer, his constant challenges to his friends to think philosophically, his involvement with political causes, his dedication to the ACLU, his admonitions to question authority, and his willingness to help friends. Everyone who attended was stunned at the diversity of the circles in which he interacted, and the successful competence he brought to each." Perry, who worked in the 40th precinct in the Bronx, had joined the Libertarian Party in June. A frequent participant at Libertarian functions for more than 10 years, Perry also had a law degree, was a member of the Nassau County Civil Liberties Union, was active in the Police Brutality Commission, and had volunteered for Norman Siegel's campaign for Public Advocate. He also had a wide range of interests: He spoke two foreign languages (French and Spanish), enjoyed long-distance swimming and running, and appeared as an extra in the movies Die Hard 3 and Deconstructing Harry. He had also hoped to become a relief worker in Bosnia, but the plan fell through. Libertarians who met Perry had only words of praise for him. "He had a combination of intelligence, manner, style, courage, and compassion that is rarely equaled," said Tarnoff. "His departure is a great loss to the libertarian movement and to all of mankind. We are diminished by that loss beyond what we could ever hope to know." LP National Director Steve Dasbach expressed sorrow about Perry's death -- and admiration for the man. "Libertarians all across the country were shocked and saddened by the loss of life caused by the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC," he said. "Our sorrow is only compounded by the news that one of our own is among the dead. "Of course, when we heard that John was missing, we all wished for a miracle, and hoped that he would emerge unharmed. But since that miracle does not seem to have happened, we will remember him as a genuine Libertarian hero -- who risked his life to try to save the lives of his fellow New Yorkers." Perry's tragic story was mentioned on the television special, "America: A Tribute to Heroes," which aired on all the major networks on September 21. Near the beginning of the two-hour telethon, which attracted 89 million viewers and raised more than $150 million for the survivors of the terrorist attacks, actor George Clooney cited Perry as one of the "heroes" who gave his life to save others.
Link Posted: 11/24/2001 1:57:19 PM EDT
Sigh. . . .
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