Detective Thomas J. Lyons

Detective Thomas J. Lyons

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, December 31, 2018

Add to My Heroes

Thomas J. Lyons

Detective Thomas Lyons died as the result of cancer that he developed following his assignment to the search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.

Detective Lyons had served with the New York City Police Department for 20 years. He was survived by his wife, two sons, brother, nieces and nephews.

The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, seventy-two officers from a total of eight local, state, and federal agencies were killed when terrorist hijackers working for the al Qaeda terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden, crashed four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

After the impact of the first plane into the World Trade Center's North Tower, putting the safety of others before their own, law enforcement officers along with fire and EMS personnel, rushed to the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center to aid the victims and lead them to safety. Due to their quick actions, it is estimated that over 25,000 people were saved.

As the evacuation continued, the South Tower unexpectedly collapsed as a result of the intense fire caused by the impact. The North Tower collapsed a short time later. Seventy-two law enforcement officers, 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, and over 2,800 civilians were killed at the World Trade Center site on 9/11.

A third hijacked plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania when the passengers attempted to re-take control of the plane. One law enforcement officer, who was a passenger on the plane, was killed in that crash.

The fourth hijacked plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing almost 200 military and civilian personnel. No law enforcement officers were killed at the Pentagon on 9/11.

The terrorist attacks resulted in the declaration of war against the Taliban regime, the illegal rulers of Afghanistan, and the al Qaeda terrorist network which also was based in Afghanistan.

On September 9th, 2005, all of the public safety officers killed on September 11th, 2001, were posthumously awarded the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor by President George W. Bush.

The contamination in the air at the World Trade Center site caused many rescue personnel to become extremely ill and eventually led to the death of several rescue workers.

On May 1st, 2011, members of the United States military conducted a raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden.

Please click here to visit the memorials of all of the law enforcement officers who have died as a result of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause 9/11 related illness
  • Incident Date Tuesday, September 11, 2001
  • Weapon Aircraft; Passenger jet
  • Offender 19 suicide attackers

9/11, terrorism

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

My father was also Thomas J Lyons Jr born Brooklyn New York in 1914.
He lived a long life of 81 years. My grandfather Thomas Lyons Sr. was fire chief of Brooklyn New York for many years until his retirement.

His early career included a law degree, specialising in criminal law, and then working for a large insurance company investigating life insurance fraud (involving murders).

I am sorry for your loss and still angry at the perpetrators.

I used to have some friends with Arab antecedents, but was shocked that they were quietly pleased about the attacks, despite having become citizens. Needless to say, we stopped being friends and I stopped making new friends with Arab antecedents. I had been unaware of their latent hatred for non-Arabs until the post 9/11 era.

I have passed this story on to my children and grandchildren, while never stopping them from making friends with many nationalities, especially since my husband and I live now in Europe and my children were born and brought up here. Still American nationalities and my son has married an American Girl and lives near lower Manhattan in New Jersey.

Mrs. Danielle Grall
Retired financier, mother, wife and grandmother

March 27, 2024

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.