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NYPD honors Sept. 11 victims in medal ceremony

 By COLLEEN LONG, The Associated Press 5:18 PM Thursday, September 8, 2011

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department has honored the officers who were killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center and those who worked on the toxic pile of rubble and died later.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the officers were among many brave men and women who helped rescue 25,000 people from the twin towers. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly thanked their families.

The NYPD handed out medals to the families of the 23 officers who died Sept. 11, 2001, and the 49 officers and one civilian employee who died since. It says the more recent deaths were caused by Sept. 11-related illnesses.

Navy veteran John DiStephano collected his nephew Walter Weaver's medal in Thursday's ceremony. He says it's "bittersweet."

Some people collecting medals walked on stage wearing their loved ones' police caps.

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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