He died a hero in his mother’s eyes and a potential enemy to his country.
Now the family of Mohammed Salman Hamdani, the Bayside hero found wrongly accused of having ties to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will have his cleared name on a street sign.
“He was a kind, compassionate and humble American. The most important thing to remember about him is his due place in history,” said mother Talat Hamdani, 61. “He gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a 23-year-old NYPD cadet and certified paramedic when he voluntarily and fatally rushed to his nation’s aid 11 years ago.
“We knew he would go. That was him,” said Talat of her first son. “He would help people in the streets if they were in distress. If there was an accident, he would pull over and see if everything was okay.”
But instead of honor, the chemistry major at Queens College died with a tarnished name.
Authorities hunted him, falsely suspecting the Pakistani-American was in league with terrorists until his remains were found scattered in the rubble near the north tower by his medical bag, according to reports.
Now Community Board 11 has voted unanimously to honor the hometown hero by renaming the street sign on 204th Street at 35th Avenue, outside his former Bayside home, after his legacy.
“It was very emotional, listening to [Talat] and her pain,” said district manager Susan Seinfeld. “As a mother myself, I can just feel that. I can’t imagine what she’s gone through. He should be recognized as much as anyone who was on duty. He gave his life to help people.”
About six street signs within the Community Board have been renamed in honor of 9/11 victims, Seinfeld said.
“A street renaming is a very small but appropriate recognition of his bravery,” said Councilmember Dan Halloran. “He entered the twin towers not because he had to but because he chose to dedicate his life to helping people.”
Mohammed Salman is also mentioned in the 2001 Patriot Act as a 9/11 Muslim-American hero.
“We will never know how many lives he saved that day,” Talat said. “My son is priceless. Nothing can bring him back.”