A survivor's 9/11 response story: John Stiastny


One of nearly 2,000 members of the New York City Police Department dispatched to the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001, John Stiastny arrived at the disaster site at about 1:00 that afternoon.

A 12-year veteran assigned to the department's auto crime division in Queens in 2001, Stiastny was hit by falling debris and taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was treated for a broken leg and injuries to his neck.

Though his efforts to participate fully in the rescue and recovery effort were cut short by his injuries, Stiastny nonetheless carefully preserved the mud-caked boots and gloves he wore that day along with the handcuffs, all of which he recently donated them to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. These components of Stiastny’s police uniform signify all the officers who responded to the emergency, and will enable the museum to document the vital roles of all first responders.

Through such artifacts and stories, the museum hopes to be able to fully inform future visitors about the NYPD’s presence at the World Trade Center throughout the entire rescue and recovery.

View other items in the museum's permanent collection for a glimpse into the 9/11 disaster.

By the 9/11 Memorial staff

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