Fidelis Ad Mortem: Faithful Unto Death
by Chase Collum
Dec 29, 2014 | 9011 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Funeral of Officer Ramos
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On Saturday morning, Glendale was transformed into a sea of blue, as around 40,000 mourners, including approximately 23,000 uniformed officers from around the United States, descended on the neighborhood to pay final respect to murdered NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos.

Ramos, who celebrated his 40th birthday on December 9, was assassinated along with his partner, Wenjian Liu, by 28-year-old Baltimore man Ismaaiyl Brinsley on December 20 while the two were on patrol in the 84th Precinct near Myrtle and Tompkins avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Moments before the attack, Brinsley reportedly told nearby onlookers, “Watch what I’m about to do.” Earlier in the day he posted to Instagram that he planned to “put wings on pigs.”

He shot and killed his 29-year-old Air Force Reservist girlfriend Shaneka Thompson when she attempted to stop him from killing himself earlier in the day in a Baltimore suburb, and shot and killed himself on a nearby subway platform shortly after killing the two officers.

Vice President Joseph Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, former mayor Rudolph Giuliani and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton were among the honored guests to speak at the funeral, which was held at Christ Tabernacle Church at 64-24 Myrtle Avenue.

“I didn’t know your husband,” Biden said to Ramos’ widow Maritza in his eulogy, “and I didn't know his partner, who were keeping watch at Myrtle and Tompkins avenue on that terrible afternoon, but I do know why they were there. They were there to protect and defend, as they always are. Sometimes fearful, but always watchful.”

Bratton posthumously conferred promotions to the rank of Detective First Grade to both Ramos and Liu.

“Every time I attend a cop’s funeral, I pray that it will be the last, but I know it won’t,” Bratton said. “As I watch the casket being carried past all those salutes, I wish it weren’t real, but it is.”

He also pronounced Ramos an honorary chaplain of the 84th Precinct. Bratton remembered Ramos as an exemplary officer.

“He came on the job older, a family man, street smart,” Bratton said. “He knew how to handle people, and the younger guys looked up to him. He never shirked a task and he never complained.

“We are here to remember,” he added. “We remember what it means to take ‘The Job.’ The Job can reward you like no other, but one day it might demand from you everything in return. For the Ramos family, today is that day.”

During de Blasio’s speech, hundreds of cops who stood along Myrtle Avenue turned their backs to the giant screen. De Blasio spoke on and remembered Ramos as a man of faith.

“He spent the last 10 weeks of his life studying to be a chaplain, and he was taken from us on the day he was to graduate,” he said. “He was already serving in so many ways, but he felt deeply called to serve spiritually as well.”

In the days leading up to Ramos’ funeral, support for the fallen officers began pouring in. On Friday, the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation announced that it would raise the money to pay off Ramos and Liu’s mortgages in full. Giuliani donated $20,000 toward the $800,000 goal, which has so far raised at least $70,000.

The wake for Officer Liu will be held January 3 at Ralph Aievoli & Son, located at 1275 65th Street in Brooklyn, from 1 to 9 p.m. His funeral service will be held the following day at 10 a.m.

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