TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags lowered to half-staff Saturday to honor a New Jersey state trooper who died after being diagnosed with cancer that a police spokesman says the officer acquired while working at ground zero on the day of the terrorist attacks in New York.

Christie issued the executive order in recognition of Lt. William Fearon, who died Wednesday. He was 49.

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State police spokesman Trooper Lawrence Peele says Fearon died as a result of brain cancer that he acquired from exposure to debris while working Sept. 11, 2001, in response to the attacks.

Fearon was diagnosed with the malignant tumor in May 2015.

A funeral will be held Saturday morning at Queen of Peace Church in North Arlington.

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Fearon was a member of the force since 1994 and served in the field in northern New Jersey and along the shore. Christie said Fearon had a distinguished career that included a stint as assistant station commander.

“Lieutenant Fearon served his State with courage, professionalism, and commitment to the finest ideals and traditions of the New Jersey State Police,” Christie said in the order.

State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes remembered Fearon as a “phenomenal human being and a true inspiration.”

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