Throughout the day and well into the evening, cops and civilians alike shuffled somberly in droves into the church where Ramos’ coffin lay draped in an NYPD burial flag with its five white-and-green stripes representing the five boroughs, a blue field representing the department, and 24 white stars representing New York City and the 23 original towns that were incorporated into the city.
Outside the ceremony, hundreds lined Myrtle Avenue for the chance to honor Ramos, who was shot along with his partner Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn on December 20 while sitting in their squad car on a Bedford-Stuyvesant street.
Local postal worker Leon Rivera lives a few blocks from the Ramos family, and said he felt a great sadness at the news of his passing.
“Even though it’s a line so long and it’s hard to get in, I’ve been here for a couple of hours to pay my respects,” Rivera said. “I feel sadness about the way they were murdered. Something has got to be done.”
Ramos’ older son Justin said during the ceremony, “My father was a hero, I couldn’t have asked for a better role model.”
“Dad, I’m forever grateful for the sacrifices you’ve made to provide for me and Jaden,” he said. “I’ll miss you with every fiber of my being.”
Ramos was born December 9, 1974, to Puerto Rican immigrants Julia Romero and Rafael Ramos, Sr. He is survived by his wife Maritza and two sons Justin, 19, and Jaden, 13.
A lifelong resident of Sunset Park, Ramos joined the NYPD School Safety Division in 2009, working with children in Staten Island, before being called up to become a police officer in 2012.