The NRA Honors 9/11 Hero, NYPD Officer Walter Weaver and the 9/11 Revolver
On the morning of September 11, 2001, NYPD Police Officer Walter Weaver was scheduled to be off work. Instead, he filled in for another police officer. After the 9/11 terrorists crashed their planes into the World Trade Center Towers, Officer Weaver rushed into the burning North Tower. Reports indicate that he was attempting to free trapped victims from the North Tower when it collapsed. He was killed doing what heroes do - putting his life at risk that others may live.
During the recovery and excavation of the towers, a police revolver was found. It was later learned that this revolver belonged to Weaver and has become known as The 9/11 Revolver. The badly damaged but priceless firearm in now on display in the NRAs National Firearms Museum honoring the fearless sacrifice of Officer Weaver.
NRA Executive Committee Member, Susan Howard, in a video honoring Weaver, asks the question "What makes a gun a genuine treasure?" She answered explaining, "[T]his revolver, its not rare. Its a common Smith & Wesson J frame revolver. The bright blue finish, its long gone. Its far from a perfect state. And yet this gun is treasured above so many in the National Firearms Museums extensive collection."
But the reality is, it is not the gun that is so special, it is the memory of the fallen hero who rushed into a burning building and gave his life attempting to rescue others.
I spoke with NRA Spokeswoman Jacqueline Isaacs about this revolver, which was donated to the NRA by Officer Weavers family. "The NRA is honored that Officer Walter Weavers family donated his firearm to the NRA National Firearms Museum," Isaacs explained. "It serves as a memorial to the heroism displayed by many on that day, and it serves as a reminder of first responders who put their lives on the line every day."
Officer Weaver was a member of the NYPDs elite Emergency Services Unit based in the Bronx. The morning of 9/11 Weaver was not working in the Bronx, but rather was filling in for a friend in lower Manhattan. He was last seen on the 6th floor of the North Tower attempting to free several people who were trapped in an elevator. He was posthumously awarded the NYPDs highest medal, the Medal of Honor.
Because he was not supposed to be working that day and all of the confusion related to the tower collapses, Weavers family did not learn for three days that Walter Weaver was, in fact, lost in the tower collapse.
Weavers family was presented the revolver, which was found in the ashes of the tower. His family donated the gun to the NRA for permanent display in the National Firearms Museum.
It is not a normal thing for a person to rush towards a burning high rise building that has just been rammed by a Boeing 737. It is not a normal thing for a person to selflessly put themselves in danger to protect or save others. Yet that is what Officer Walter Weaver did, alongside hundreds of other New York City police officers and firefighters. It is what our nations first responders do for us every day. It truly is not the gun that is special. It is indeed the hero who carries it.
Today, from the ashes of 9/11, a new symbol of American exceptionalism and freedom rises. The Liberty Tower will soon be completed and life in lower Manhattan will continue to return to normal. But the memory of Police Officer Walter Weaver will live on in the memories of his family and through all of those who see the 9/11 Revolver on display at the National Firearms Museum.
Liberty Tower at Night, 9/14/2012
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