|Carmen and Ramon Suarez were all dressed up for a party when they saw a few teenagers pummeling a man across the street from their home in Ridgewood, Queens. Mrs. Suarez's husband, a New York City police officer, gave her one of his looks and took off running, dress shoes and all.|
Minutes later a patrol car found Officer Suarez and the teenagers he had apprehended. "I don't know how my husband used to do this," Mrs. Suarez said. "He must have had wings."
Officer Suarez could run like the wind because, at 45, he still worked out twice a day in the gym. He also ran, and coached the track team at his daughter Jillian's elementary school. And he was a physical fitness guru who chided those who sinned.
"He would tease you and say, 'Instead of having that doughnut why don't you have a PowerBar or something," said Officer Suarez's partner of 11 years, Officer Steven Rentas. He said Officer Suarez was a perfectionist about his uniform, his appearance, his performance on the job.
On the morning of Sept. 11, Officer Suarez was on transit duty at the Delancey Street subway station. He commandeered a cab and rushed to the World Trade Center, where he was photographed helping people out of one of the buildings. "Ray basically symbolized the essence of what the Police Department is looking for in its officers," Officer Rentas said.
| - The New York Times 1/22/2002
The last time Carmen Suarez saw her husband in person was when he left for work on Sept. 11 at 6:30a.m.
Days later -- after she had already received the devastating news that Transit Police Officer Ramon Suarez was one of the missing rescuers -- she saw him again: in a published news photograph, rescuing a distraught woman from a building that was about to collapse.
"It just shows that he was truly a hero," said Valerie Ortiz, a close friend who lives next door to the Suarez family in Ridgewood.
She added: "Like we all already knew that he is."
After that photo was taken, Suarez rushed back into Tower Two, police have said.
The building crashed down around him.
Suarez, 45, a police officer since 1997 and a father of three with one grandchild, has not been found.
"We had no idea that he was one of the missing," said Ortiz, who works near Carmen Suarez in midtown Manhattan. The two women walked over the 59th Street Bridge together, picked up their daughters at school, and walked home.
While Ortiz was out, police delivered Suarez the news.
"They called her, and they asked if he had called, and she said no, and they said, 'Well, we think he's missing,'" Ortiz said. "When I came home, she was hysterical."
In addition to his work as a police officer, Suarez coached his daughter's track team, Ortiz said.
"He was wonderful with the children. He was a great friend to all of us," she said. "He's just the kind of guy that you always want around and he took his time, coaching those kids."
Until she hears officially that her husband is dead, Carmen Suarez has continued hoping, Ortiz said. She has stopped watching television and reading the papers while she waits for the telephone to ring, Ortiz said.
"I feel so terrible for the family. You look at their faces and they're heartbroken," she said. "It breaks your heart, because you know that their love for each other is just so strong. You can't stand to see that."
| - New York Newsday Victim Database 9/22/2001|
Police Officer Ramon Suarz, 45, was appointed to the Transit Police Department on January 20, 1987, and worked in Transit District 4. Transit Borough Manhattan Task Force, and the Highway District before transferring back to District 4 in March 2000. He and his partner, PO Mark J. Ellis, were both killed while responding to the World Trade Center incident. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Graphic ASrts and Design, PO Suarez was close to earning a bachelor's degree from Pace University. A physical fitness enthusiast, he had received numerous trophies and awards for his expertise in karate. PO Suarez is survived by his wife Carmen, children Jillian, Sophia and Ramon Jr; parents Marina and Raul; sisters Margarita and Milagros; and brother Raul.
| - SPRING 3100, Commemorative Issue|
|(patch created by a volunteer for the |
CubScout Pack 233 Memorial American Flag Quilt)
|(patch from Barnum Woods Elementary School Quilt)|