They’re honoring the lives of NYPD members lost to the coronavirus pandemic.
Police officers are trained for many scenarios, but no one was prepared to combat the threat of COVID-19.
So many died when so much was still unknown about the virus. Months later, it was deemed safe to gather to honor them.
The names of the 46 NYPD members were read on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Monday morning, CBS2’s Aundrea-Cline Thomas reported.
It was a tribute to civilian and uniform members who died from complications of the coronavirus.
The members lost include school safety and traffic enforcement agents, detectives, officers, custodial assistants, communication technicians, administrative associates and aides, and volunteer auxiliary police.
“It gives us some satisfaction that they recognize the loss that we suffer. But, it’s also a loss to the city, a loss to the department,” said Jannie Poullard, who lost her brother-in-law Richard Austin, a traffic enforcement agent from Staten Island who served for nearly 35 years.
“He loved the holidays. He loved celebration. He always had a smile,” Poullard said.
Richard Austin was 67.
Inside the church, Cardinal Timothy Dolan presided over mass.
“Some of you families were not even able to be near your sick loves ones you so cherish, because of the understandable and necessary restrictions,” Cardinal Dolan said.
The pandemic has not just taken away lives, but also the ability to properly grieve.
Monday’s mass was a start to ensuring the lives of those who answered the call to serve in the face of unexpected danger are not forgotten.
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