Portraits of Grief, The New York Times
Hero Who Loved the Flag
Paul Laszczynski (pronounced la-ZIN-ski) had a box full of honors from his career as a Port Authority police officer, most notably a Fraternal Order of Police Valor Award for helping to carry someone down more than 70 flights of stairs after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
But his position with the Port Authority’s honor guard carrying the American flag meant more to him, said his girlfriend, Charlene Talarico. “That was probably one of the more important things to him, more important than most of his commendations,” she said.
At 6 feet 5 and 240 pounds, Mr. Laszczynski, 49, of Paramus, N.J., was a striking flag-bearer. “He was into the snap, he liked to look right,” Ms. Talarico said. “I don’t think anybody looked better in the uniform.”
He kept his turquoise Harley-Davidson Wide Glide just as spiffy, and even named one of his Lhasa Apsos Harley. He rode the bike with the Renegade Pigs, a motorcycle police group that raises money for children’s charities. “He was a hero with a heart,” Ms. Talarico said.