From Police Heroes, a book by author Chuck Whitlock:
“When I go out of this world, I want to know I made a difference,” Officer James Nelson, forty, told his wife, Roseanne, as reported in The Star-Ledger. He refused to leave while others were inside the Twin Towers, a coworker later told his family. He was evacuating people from the twenty-seventh floor of one of the Twin Towers when it collapsed.
Officer Nelson was the youngest of three children. He grew up in Centereach, New York. He received a full fencing scholarship to St. John’s University in Queens and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 1983. He later attended Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, as a graduate student.
He enrolled in the Port Authority Police Academy in 1984. During the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, he was involved in the rescue operation. “He thought he was going to work crowd control,” his wife told Newsday. “But they sent him inside to help out with the rescue operation. He was glad he could help.” Officer Nelson taught at the Port Authority Police Academy in Jersey City and was there on the morning of September 11th .
His family always came first, though. He volunteered to coach his daughter Anne’s soccer team and was looking forward to doing the same for his other daughter, Caitlin, when she was old enough to play.