Spike Cohen tells the story of John W Perry, a Libertarian who sacrificed his life to save others on September 11.
From his Twitter:
2977 people lost their lives on 9/11.
When we hear of deaths in the thousands, it’s easy to look at them as numbers, even though we know that each of them had lives, family and loved ones they left behind.
Each one has a story.
I’d like to tell you the story of John W Perry.
John was born with a severe learning disability. He was 9 before he could tie his shoes or read. But he discovered a passion for learning, and helping others, that would last his entire life.
John learned French, Russian, Spanish & Swedish, and graduated from NYU School of Law. As an attorney, John helped immigrants and asylum-seekers navigate through the ridiculous system so they could remain here.
An active member of @LPQueens and a board member of the @NYCLU, John fought for the rights and freedoms of others.
Then he did something unexpected. John became a police officer, and took on a job investigating police abuses and corruption in NYPD.
In addition to that, John volunteered as an investigator with the @nyspcc, where he became an advocate for children and adoptee rights.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point that John was astoundingly generous.
He gave out copies of Human Action by Ludwig von Mises, as well as shirts with the constitution and bill of rights on them. A friend called John hoping that a cop could help him with $1700 in parking tickets. John said he’d handle it. Later, the friend discovered that John just paid them all.
John befriended a homeless man, whom he had move into his apartment so he was off the streets & in a home. I am just scratching the surface of John’s life.
He ran in 3 marathons and took part in a swim around Manhattan.
He was an extra in TV shows and movies, from Woody Allen to Die Hard III.
He was in the New York State Guard.
He was an active advocate against the war on drugs. And then, 20 years ago today, John made a sacrifice that would be surprising if it were made by anyone but him.
On September 11th, 2001, John went to 1 Police Plaza to turn in his badge and finalize his retirement so he could practice law as an advocate for immigrants full-time. He simply had to sign the papers, walk out, and continue on with his incredible life.
Then the first plane hit one of the Twin Towers.
John took his badge back, bought a NYPD shirt, put it on and ran to the Towers to help evacuate people. When he got there, he began ushering people to safety, directing them away from the main plaza where debris would likely kill them.
An older lady fainted, and John rushed to help her. They were moving slowly, but John refused to desert her.
And then the Tower collapsed. That was the last time anyone saw him.
John’s final moments were spent doing what he had done his entire life: being a libertarian, in both word and deed. Defending the lives, rights and property of others.
Being a hero. John is just one of the 2977 people who died on this tragic day, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have wanted to be portrayed as more deserving of attention than any other.
After all, he spent his life in service to, and protection of, everyone he came into contact with. On this day, let’s remember John, as we remember each of the 2977 people who lost their lives.
Thank you, John.
I wish you were still here.
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society