Staten Island, NY - New York Police Department (NYPD) Detective Christopher Cranston died in the line of duty on July 20, when he succumbed to cancer that developed following his service at the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sep. 11, 2001.
Det. Cranston, 48, spent six months digging through the rubble of Ground Zero after the attacks, the New York Daily News reported.
First, he worked on the pile where the World Trade Center buildings had been, and then he spent months sifting through remains that were transferred to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.
His wife, Clare Cranston, described her memory of that fateful day 18 years ago to the New York Daily News.
“He worked 12-hour tours, six days a week at the time, as did all the others,” Clare said.
“At the time, we had four children, and the youngest was three months old. He had just come home at 3 o’clock in the morning from overtime the night before.”
She said she woke her then-police officer husband up when she saw news of the plane hitting the first building.
“He got his clothes on, and I didn’t see him for a few days after that. He went right to the scene,” Clare said.
Det. Cranston wasn’t diagnosed with the 9/11-related colorectal cancer until after he retired from the NYPD in 2013, Staten Island Live reported.
His wife said that by the time the cancer was detected, it had already spread to his liver, the New York Daily News reported.
The detective, who lived with his wife and five children in New Dorp, was originally from Breezy Point in Queens.
He and Clare celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on June 26, the New York Daily News reported.
Det. Cranston joined the NYPD in 1991 and made detective soon after 9/11. He spent most of his career in Brooklyn’s 60th and 62nd Precincts.
He worked as a detective for vice, narcotics, and warrant squads throughout Brooklyn, according to Staten Island Live.
After his retirement from the police department, Det. Cranston became a security officer for federal court.
Det. Cranston was buried with full NYPD honors on July 25 after bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” outside St. Christopher’s Roman Catholic Church in Grant City, Staten Island Live reported.
The Emerald Society posted its condolences to the family and friends of Det. Cranston, and especially mentioned his son, Captain Nicolas Cranston, and his brother, retired First Deputy Commissioner Mark Cranston.
Clare Cranston had actively lobbied lawmakers to support the renewal of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
In a bittersweet victory, the bill passed the Senate three days after Det. Cranston died, and the legislation was signed by President Donald Trump just four days after he was buried.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York Police Department Detective Christopher Cranston, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.