ELIZABETH, N.J. (PIX11) -- When the September 11th attacks occurred, two children and one first cousin of men in the Port Authority police who were killed that day were at a challenging age.
They were old enough to know what had happened, but as adolescent children, they were too young to fully comprehend.
Now in their mid-twenties, Jennifer Morrone, Liam Huczko and Patrick Gorman are following the path that their loved ones laid.
On Friday, the three were sworn in as part of the newest class of Port Authority police officers.
With 249 cadets, the class that took their oaths of service in the Elizabeth High School gymnasium Friday is the largest Port Authority Police Academy graduating class ever.
Awards given out at the ceremony showed that the 113th Class is one of great accomplishment. It's also the first to have graduates who lost a parent or close relative in the 9/11 attacks.
Port Authority Police Officers Thomas Gorman and Stephen Huczko, along with the Superintendent of Port Authority Police, Fred Morrone, all lost their lives on September 11th, along with 34 other Port Authority police officers -- more than the 23 NYPD officers lost on 9/11, although every life lost was a tragedy. The FDNY lost 343 firefighters in the attacks.
Near the end of Friday's ceremony, there was a moment of silence to remember the fallen, and the the PAPD Bagpipe and Drum Corps performed a traditional memorial hymn.
"It started with Amazing Grace," said newly sworn officer Jennifer Morrone about the tears that she was still choking back in an interview after her swearing in.
"Today I made a personal vow," she said, to live up to the high standards and achievements of her first cousin. Fred Morrone had led the entire 1700 officer department on September 11th. He had shown up at the World Trade Center to direct the PAPD response when he was killed.
"He was a great guy," said his Officer Morrone. "Those are big shoes to fill, but I'm up to the challenge."
"It's a little sad," said newly sworn officer Liam Huczko, about missing his father. "I wish he could be here to see this. But at the same time, I'm so glad to be a part of this family."
New Port Authority Police Officer Patrick Gorman had nothing to say following the ceremony, other than that he felt unable to express his emotions in words. One of his fallen father's best friends described Officer Gorman's feelings, and the description seemed to sum up how many people in attendance, including the new officers, felt.
"He has so much resolve now to serve," said Bob Mumby. "[His father] Tommy is proud of him now."