Talat Hamdani is tired, but she still vows to fight on. “Injustice is injustice,” she says in a telephone interview. She stops to catch her breath as she tries not to cry. “The City of New York has disclaimed my son.”
After a decade-long struggle, her son, a police cadet and a 9/11 hero, Mohammad Salman Hamdani was finally honoured as a street was named after him earlier this week in Bayside, Queens. Mrs Hamdani calls the move “a step in the right direction”. Salman was a New York Police Department (NYPD) cadet and emergency medical technician who died while helping victims after the World Trade Centre towers were hit.
“He needs to be officially recognised by the NYPD and by the administration as a cadet who sacrificed his life,” she tells The Express Tribune.
Until March 2002, when his body parts were found at Ground Zero, Salman was mistaken to be a terrorist. “If I hadn’t fought to clear his name, his sacrifice would have been in vain,” his mother says.
After the attacks, NYPD announced that their fallen fellow officers would be honoured as streets would be named after them. But Mrs Hamdani had to apply for the street naming on her own. “I approached the NY Community Board 11, Bayside, last February and told them what had happened.”