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Press Releases / 2003 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2003


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) are attending the memorial service at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for the seven astronauts who perished aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as the official representatives of the City of New York. Representing the NYPD is Police Office David Jackson and representing the FDNY is Battalion Chief Jay Jonas.

“After September 11th, NASA and the men and women of the Shuttle Program supported New York City in countless ways,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “NASA presented the families of the victims of the tragedy with flags that had flown in space; they took the shields of fallen police officers into orbit and presented keepsakes from the Shuttle to the children of New York’s fallen heroes. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and we hope that these emissaries will give the NASA family support in their time of need as the nation grieves for the courageous members of the Columbia Crew”

Battalion Chief Jay Jonas is a 23-year veteran of FDNY. He was the captain of Ladder Company 6 on 9/11/01, leading his five firefighters and a female PA employee to safety down the “B” staircase (between the 2nd and 4th floors) in the North Tower when it collapsed around them. They were trapped for several hours before being rescued, then led to safety thru the debris.

Police Officer David Jackson is twelve-year veteran of the NYPD and was recently named the 84th Precinct “Cop of the Year.” Officer Jackson is consummate professional who epitomizes the NYPD’s motto of “Courtesy Professionalism and Respect.” He is admired by colleagues, appreciated by his superiors and respected by the community her serves.

After September 11th an American flag, damaged but intact, was pulled from the debris by members of the New York City Police Department and traveled nearly five million miles in space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor during STS-108 in December 2001. The large flag, along with other commemorative badges, patches, and other items, was carried into space with nearly 6,000 smaller American flags that have been given to the families of the victims of September 11th.

The Mayor also thanked all those who made the trip to Houston possible; Michelle Adams and the Association for A Better New York, Continental Airlines, Doubletree Hotels, New York City and Company, the New York City Police Foundation and the Fire Safety and Education Fund. All flags in New York City continue to fly at half mast.

(212) 788-2958 - Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz
(718) 999-2025 - Francis X. Gribbon (FDNY)
(646) 610-6700 - Michael O’Looney (NYPD)

No. 35

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