The misty rain set the perfectly somber tone as Patrol Borough Queens South set aside a day to remember those officers lost in the line of duty.
This first ever event brought together police brass, precinct commanders, sergeants, community affairs officers, auxiliary officers, school crossing guards and the families of the deceased to pay their respects. They were joined by community leaders, elected officials and clergy for this solemn, significant occasion on Thursday, May 8th.
A long procession of blue uniforms filed into the church and filled the pews. It was a reminder of the unity within the New York City Police department. That they were present for such an occasion highlighted their connection to the community. But the reason for the day was paramount: the dangers faced in the line of duty and those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Police Officer Thomas Pegues was a former Marine.
Lorraine Elliot was a school crossing guard.
Joseph Scarangella worked at the 113th Precinct.
These are but a few of the heroes memorialized that day.
The service was held at the beautiful Immaculate Conception Church. The service, led by Monsignor Robert Romano, addressed the importance these fallen heroes have in our lives. The Monsignor spoke of the need to support one another and deal with the grief surrounding the loss.
“Those are our heroes,” he said. “We will never forget them.”
The list of the heroes was read at the service by Mr. Justin Felder from the Queens South Youth Police Academy. The service was spiritually summarized by the student choir from the Immaculate Conception school which sang from the balcony high in the rafters. Police Officer Salters and Sergeant Castro added stirring songs to the ceremony.
After the service, there was a repast in the church basement. Family members of those honored spoke affectionately about their loved ones, sharing stories of their times together.
Marcie Cox was Officer Pegues’ cousin. “I remember taking care of him when he was little,” she said.
Family members also spoke about how much they enjoyed the service and the opportunity to talk with friends and NYPD brass.
Assistant Chief David Barrere was in attendance and made himself accessible for photos and talking opportunities. Commanders from the precincts were also in attendance and mixed and mingled with families and officers .
Patrol Borough Queens South includes the 100th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 105th 106, 107th and 113th precincts.
Gone…but never be forgotten.