SEAFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — It was an overwhelmingly sad day for thousands of police officers from around the country converged Friday, as they flocked to Long Island for the funeral of NYPD Officer Brian Moore.
The 25-year-old officer died Monday, two days after he was shot in the head while on duty Saturday evening in Queens Village.
Moore’s funeral service was held at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford – a hallowed place where the funeral for another slain NYPD officer, Edward Byrne, was held in February 1988.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Moore was also promoted posthumously to detective Friday. He was remembered as an American hero, a joy to know, and a team player who gave up his life for a greater good.
Web Extra: Photos From Moore’s Funeral | Moore Family Statement | Bratton’s Complete Eulogy
Bright midday sun outside the church beat down on a dark sea of sadness, stoic faces, and heavy hearts.
“We are here for here for the mom and dad and the police officers,” said Nualah Carroll of Seaford. “It’s a dark day.”
Hundreds of motorcycles led a procession that snaked slowly to the church, where another murdered NYPD officer was laid to rest a generation ago. Moore grew up in nearby Massapequa, knowing just what he wanted to be – a police officer like his father, uncle and cousins.
He took the NYPD entrance exam at the age of 17.
“If you came here to hear a homily today that would ease your pain, I’m not your man,” Monsignor Robert Romano, a New York Police Department chaplain, told the mourners. But, he added, “we are here today united as a family — a family of blood, a family of blue, and the American family.”
In delivering the eulogy, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton emphasized just how much passion Moore demonstrated for the job.
“It’s not many of us who can say we lived out a dream. But Brian could,” Bratton said. “He dreamed of being a cop. He dreamed of following his dad, whom he loved so much. He dreamed of following his dad’s brother, and his aunt’s husband, and his cousins… cops from this fine family—and a host of others who grew up in these neighborhoods around us—they patrol Nassau, and Suffolk, and Queens, and the whole city.”
Bratton also announced Moore’s posthumous promotion to detective first grade.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke at the service, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported. When delivering his remarks, de Blasio said Moore was “a young man, but a very great man.”
The mayor also said Moore represented the best of New York City and his bravery was matched by his compassion.
De Blasio said he “just couldn’t wait to be old enough to join the force.”
The mayor had been shunned by police at the recent funerals for officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were shot and killed in their squad car on Dec. 20 of last year. But on Friday, he spoke to a united and heartbroken city.
“Now, it’s up to us – to all of us – to nurture the seeds that he planted; to help the city he loved so much grow stronger and safer for all,” the mayor said. “That’s what he would want, and that’s what we will do in his memory.
And Moore’s extended family, bound by blue thread, came from across the country and beyond. Busloads of officers came from as far as California, Louisiana, and Chicago to line the streets on Long Island.
An estimated 30,000 officers attended the funeral, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
“It’s hard to be here to see such a young guy, and to think someone could do that to him and just not think twice about it,” said Pittsburgh police Officer Christyn Zett.
Even officers from Canada and as far away as Australia attended.
“It doesn’t matter where you work,” said an officer from Australia. “It’s the same job. It’s the same danger.”
Officers said Moore’s eternal sacrifice painfully punctuates the danger of policing.
“It hits home,” said Brookline, Massachusetts police Officer Michael Disario. “It shows you every day you leave for work and put that badge on, you may not come back.”
“Right now, it’s a tough time in law enforcement,” added Detective Omar Daza-Quiroz, 33, who traveled to the funeral from Oakland, California. “Sometimes people forget we are human and that we have lives.”
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