The local CBS Affiliate in New York City reports that
Thousands are gathering at a Queens church Saturday morning for the final farewell to slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Vice President Joe Biden and hundreds of police officers from the NYPD and all over the country are expected at the service set for at 10 a.m. at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale.
“He was my rock, a beacon of wisdom; he was my absolute best friend,” said Ramos’ son Justin Ramos.
Justin was in the middle of his sophomore year at Bowdoin College in Maine when his father was gunned down one week ago, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
As he spoke about the man his father was, Justin’s image was watched on a jumbotron by thousands waiting outside his father’s wake Friday night.
“My dad would have been there for everyone and to see so many people here for him is a testament to who he is as a person. It has been so helpful during this time,” Justin said.
The Ramos family leaning on that support, not only from friends, but countless officers, community members and even strangers.
For more than seven hours, a steady crowd of people offered their condolences.
Among the guests, de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who asked for continued support for the family, especially Ramos’ two sons.
And even in their pain, they managed a few smiles.
“I’ll keep this short and sweet, just like my brother,” said Ramos’ sister Cindy Ramos.
Ramos and NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu were killed as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street last Saturday. The shooter,Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself.
Investigators say Brinsley was an emotionally disturbed loner who started off his rampage by shooting an ex-girlfriend in Baltimore.
He also posted online threats to police and made references to Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
The killings ramped up emotions in the already tense national debate over police conduct.
Commissioner Bil Bratton visited a memorial to two fallen NYPD officers on Friday.
Commissioner Bratton worked his way down the line shaking hands with officers who were there, as the memorial continued to grow.
As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, efforts were also underway to help the families of the two fallen heroes.
A 9/11 charity is working to help pay off the mortgages on the homes of the two NYPD officers who were ambushed and killed in Brooklyn.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundationannounced Friday that it will be paying the mortgages in full for the families of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
The foundation made the announcement in Staten Island along with former Mayor Rudy Guiliani and Liu’s widow, Pei Xia Chen.
“We want to help lift them out of some of the despair that they’re in today,” said Chairman Frank Siller.
Chen is feeling a pain that Siller knows all too well. He lost his brother on 9/11.
Mortgages Of Fallen NYPD Cops To Be Paid In Full
Peter Haskell reports
So far, the foundation has raised $70,000 with a goal of $800,000. Giuliani said he was pledging $20,000 of his own money.
“They should be in a position where, so that for the rest of their lives, they never have to worry about material things,” Giuliani said. “It doesn’t bring back either one of these great men. But it does help.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed. He stressed the importance of helping the families, not only emotionally, but practically too.
“Let’s respect the family. Let’s help the family grieve, find ways to help the family through this. Whether it’s financial support, education with kids, and then we’ll move forward with learning lessons,” the governor said.
Donations have been pouring in.
The Brooklyn Nets gave $10,000, the New York Yankees will pay for the education of Ramos’ sons. Even strangers have been opening their wallets.
“Seeing everyone pull together shows strength, and that you can pull through,” Andreana Simonelli said.
Earlier this week, Liu’s widow came out of their Gravesend, Brooklyn home and spoke tearfully about the road ahead and how loved ones and strangers are helping the family.
While this solemn ceremony to honor someone who gave his life in the service of others is going on, there will be Police Snipers lining the rooftops, in response to numerous threats to disrupt the church service.
How did we get here? Why do we have so many out there who are calling for “dead cops”, while protesting over the deaths of criminals?
By the time President Johnson came into office, after the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the majority of Americans totally believed that our government always had our best interest at heart.
President Johnson came into office and immediately started his push for the Great Society. These programs were designed to make Americans even more dependent on the Federal Government for their very survival.
As the Vietnam War grew more and more and unpopular, Americans’ trust in the government became more and more compromised. Protests against the Federal Government became more and more common and it became cool to be a rebel or “hippie”.
Time passed, and while rebellious Americans calmed down, Americans’ dependence upon government programs became generational, as multiple family members from one generation to the next, relied on Uncle Sugar for their daily existence.
Meanwhile, the rebels of the 1960’s got older and began to work within the system, taking jobs within the private and public sectors.
Eventually, they moved into positions of power, becoming heads of corporations and local and national politicians.
It is not really necessary to tell you what the political ideology of these rebels was, is it?
As the last century ended and the new one began, these hippies and their offspring, solidly in place in the halls of power, began to pass more more legislation designed to keep generations of Americans enslaved to Uncle Sugar.
With the President of the United States and the Attorney General backing their efforts, the Professionally Perpetually Aggrieved” have been emboldened in their efforts to turn the deaths of two criminals into a “Cause de Celebre”, raising money and gaining face time on every news outlet stupid enough to give it to them.
So, why are the majority of Americans not buying this money-grubbing, disrespectful con job, seeking to turn two people with a history of breaking the law into some sort of “martyrs”?
Now you can call it genetics, you can call it socialization, you can call it the proper alignment of the moon and stars…I choose to call it the Grace of God.
It is a comforting old saying which states
There, but for the grace of God, go I.
We are given free will by our Creator will to make choices and decisions on the direction of our lives. Being human, we often don’t make the right decisions and being human, those decisions have the potential to lead us down a dark path.
Whether is in reality or strictly in the close quarters of our own consciousness, the path we choose to follow is up to us. However, our parents, family, and friends can make a difference in our journey and I thank God that through His Grace I was given a Father who made sure that I received loving instruction in The Way in which I should go.
We still live in the greatest country on the face of the earth and we still have a responsibility to one another.
The Light or the Darkness. The choice is up to each and every one of us.
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:14 (ESV)
Until He Comes,