Officer Santos Valentin was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while attempting to rescue the victims trapped in the World Trade Center.
Officer Valentin had been a member of the New York City Police Department for 17 years, and is survived by his parents, three sisters, and two brothers.
Officer Valentin was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department’s Medal of Honor for his heroic actions. He was assigned to ESU Truck 7; a K-9 unit for the United States Coast Guard was named in honor of Officer Valentin and has been working for three years for the canine explosive detection team.
On the morning of September 11th, 2001, seventy-two officers from a total of eight local, state, and federal agencies were killed when terrorist hijackers working for the al Qaeda terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden, crashed four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A SHARPSHOOTER AND A JOKER
There is a saying among police officers: “When people are in trouble, they call the cops. When cops are in trouble, they call Emergency Service.” Santos Valentin Jr., a member of the New York Police Department’s Emergency Service Squad 7, answered the call on Sept. 11.
Officer Valentin was a sharpshooter trained in counterterrorism tactics, said his sister, Sgt. Denise Valentin, and his family thought that if anyone could come out alive in this attack, it would be him.
What have lived on are the memories – of the jokes he played on his colleagues, of how he loved his dog, Luger (so much that he would leave the Animal Planet channel on for him when he was not home), of his love for family and friends, and of his bravery. Officer Valentin was not afraid of death, but he did hate funerals. So, a few days ago, his family gave him a send-off at the rubble of the World Trade Center, where he was last seen. He loved his Budweiser, so they poured him a can and said their goodbyes.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 6, 2001.
Police Officer Santos Valentin was remembered yesterday by his partner as a man “who lived for the job.”
Police Officer John Dallara was remembered as someone who gave up a teaching career to become a cop.
Valentin and Dallara, both of the Emergency Service Unit of the Special Operations Division, were two of the 23 officers officially reported missing Friday. From the Port Authority police, two have been confirmed dead and 35 were missing, officials said.
Of all the units in the NYPD, ESU took the hardest hit. Fifteen of the 23 officers came from its ranks.
Valentin’s partner, Sgt. Richard Kemmler, recalled that Valentin, of Richmond Hill, had saved “lots of jumpers and lots of swimmers.”
“He was in the water lots of times,” Kemmler said, “and he wasn’t a good swimmer.”
Kemmler said Valentin loved the job so much he used his own money to purchase equipment, such as special boots and gloves.
“He bought me a pair,” Kemmler added. “I didn’t want to take them.”
– New York Newsday Victim Database 9/16/2001
May 14, 2002 – “It’s like my son sent us a gift,” said Gloria Valentin, the mother of Santos Valentin Jr., one of 23 NYPD officers who rushed into the burning, …
On September 11th, Santos Valentin climbed the South Tower with fellow officers and helped to evacuate the thousands of people who worked in the building. His unit’s last radio call was from the 20th floor of Two World Trade Center. Shortly thereafter the building collapsed.
Gloria and Santos Valentin hold a street sign honoring their son- 91 Ave and 118 St Richmond Hill Queens
Sgt Denise Valentin shakes hands with NYPD PC Bernard Kerick after receiving the medal of honor for her brother Santos Valentin Jr
Dedicated Memorial Sites:
New York City Police Memorial Wall
Long Island 9/11 Memorial
9/11 Memorial at St. Joseph’s Chapel
Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Memorial Garden
Conseleya 9/11 Memorial
Crescent Beach Park – Flagpole/Memorial for 9/11 Victims
Dewitt 9/11 Memorial
East Newark 9/11 Memorial
Fair Haven 9/11 Memorial