Memorial service honors local FBI agent who died of cancer due to Sept. 11 terror attacks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Tuesday, the community honored a local FBI agent who died from cancer due to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The FBI says one of its first-responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks has died of brain cancer linked to exposure to contaminants.

Special Agent Melissa S. Morrow died Thursday at the age of 48.

Special Agent Melissa S. Morrow

The agency said in a news release Friday that Morrow made the "ultimate sacrifice," and her death has been classified as a line-of-duty death. She had been certified by the World Trade Center Health Program and the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

“She fought for justice for those we lost, to bring peace to their families and to make sure what happened that day would never ever happen again,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at Morrow’s funeral Tuesday inside Country Club Christian Church.

Morrow joined the FBI in 1995 and worked at its Washington field office prior to transferring to the Kansas City field office.

'How many of us could have fought through what she did with that same quiet heroism, that same sense of humor, that same strength and that same courage?” Wray said.

She was a first responder to the Pentagon crash site and the Alexandria evidence warehouse. The FBI says she spent 10 weeks recovering and processing evidence at the site, where she was exposed to dangerous contaminants.

FBI Special Agent Thomas O’Connor said Morrow is the 11th FBI agent to die as a result of the Sept. 11th attacks. According to records on Officer Down Memorial Page, 10 of those deaths occurred well after the attacks.

"No longer will these agents pass quietly into the night. They will be honored for their service and paying the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” O’Connor said.

Morrow was honored with the playing of “Taps” and “Amazing Grace” outside of the church by bagpipes and bugles. After a three-shot volley by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, a traditional end-of-watch transmission from the Missouri Highway Patrol was aired over police radios for Morrow’s Radio 1108.

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