Muslim Sept. 11 Responder Deserves Hero's Honor


Mohammad Salman Hamdani died trying to save others. He was following through on what he was trained to do as an emergency medical technician and a New York City police cadet. His sacrifice is especially poignant because he was Muslim and he died in the wreckage of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. By any measure, the Pakistani native and American citizen from Queens, N.Y., is a hero.

But you won't find Hamdani's name among those of official first responders at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan. And don't look for him on the list of those who died in the towers, although his remains were found where the north tower once stood.

Instead, Hamdani's name is engraved, almost as an afterthought, next to victims who had no connection to the towers.

It is simply wrong. Memorial organizers should find a way to put his name in the right place. Hamdani was buried with full honors by the New York City Police Department -- he had three years as a cadet and took the test for the police academy before his death. His family speculates that he saw the burning towers from a train platform on his way to work as a lab technician and rushed downtown instead because that is what he was trained to do. (More)