9/11 Stories: Scott Strauss


In the 2006 Oliver Stone movie “World Trade Center”, starring Nicholas Cage and Michael Pena, two Port Authority police officers were buried in the rubble of The World Trade Center. Detective Scott Strauss won the NYPD's highest award, the Medal of Honor, as one of the teams who saved the real-life trapped officers, working more than 3 and a half hours in the debris, amid blinding dust, choking smoke, and white-hot beams.

After lowering himself into the narrow hole to find the trapped cops, Strauss remembers silently sending a message to his six and nine-year-old sons, Brian and Christopher, who were safe at home on Long Island, apologizing to them for getting killed, imploring them to take care of their mom and to make him proud.

Barely able to see, Strauss remembers discovering the lifeless body of Port Authority police officer Dominick Pezullo, who survived the fall of the first tower only to slowly bleed out after the collapse of the second. Strauss and his tiny team then discovered Port Authority cop Will Jimeno on his back, completely encased in the dust, save for his head and right arm. He was alert, quickly calling out, “You gotta get to my partner”. Strauss assumed Jimeno was talking about the cop they had just found dead, but Port Authority Police Sgt. John McLoughlin was nearby and still alive, nine hours after the collapse. Jimeno continued to repeat, over and over, “You gotta get to my partner. You gotta get to the sergeant!” It was a miracle that not only did the two cops survive, but so did the courageous rescue team. In this video, you will hear now-retired NYPD Detective Strauss tell his story of that day and see the after-effects from the dust, as he suffers from severe breathing issues to this day. Continuing the legacy and following in their father’s footsteps, Scott’s sons Brian and Christopher, are now proud members of the NYPD.