Honoring the Legacy of 9/11 Heroes

Today I ask that you take just a few minutes to read this. It’s special and means so much to us.

Today as do many, we remember the tragic events of 9/11. I remember my NYPD ESU family, Walter Weaver and Paul Johnson. My daughter Molly went off to school to speak to her class about her Uncle Walter who she never got the chance to meet, yet speaks about him with pride and often wears a locket with his picture inside. My cousin Paul survived that day yet was killed by the 9/11 attacks almost 17 years later by 9/11 related illness.

This year Southern Cross Service Dogs has been blessed with the opportunity to honor another 9/11 family. NYPD Detective Peter Grzymalski and his family asked us if we would name a future service dog after their brother Matthew Grzymalski. Matthew was working at Cantor Fitzgerald when he and his girlfriend Kaleen Pezzuti both met their tragic fate. It wasn’t a question of if we would honor this request, it was a question of when we would. Peter however was terminally ill, we wanted to act quickly. Not certain of when we would add new puppies into our program but had recently added a puppy to our program just a few days earlier, we immediately decided that puppy would proudly be named “Matty”. Peter passed away just a few days after learning that Matty would carry his brothers name.

Matty works hard and trains every day to save lives and make the Gryzmalski family proud. He has a legacy behind his name and one day in the not so distance future, Matty aspires to serve a veteran in need and continue his proud legacy.

If you took the time to read this, I truly appreciate that you gave me a moment to share this story with you.


Matthew Krug