Away from the harsh rhetoric and political grandstanding that continue to swirl in the aftermath of the assassination of two NYPD officers, Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, of the 84th Precinct, the best of New York City are quietly and respectfully mourning the two men, even though most did not know them.
According to The New York Times:
At the site of the killings, at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins Avenues in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, a constant line of mourners gathered by the growing memorial, which was sheltered from a cold, steady drizzle by a black tarp. Many clutched bouquets or gifts. Others bowed their heads in prayer. … A cardboard poster displayed their photos beneath a message scrawled in black marker: “We all mourn with you.”
The tragedy gripped various people, who expressed their condolences as best they could:
Felicia Oquendo, 61, a retired UPS administrator, rode two buses from her home in Maspeth, Queens, and put off cooking Christmas Eve dinner for her family so that she could pay her respects in person. Ms. Oquendo, who did not know the officers, said she had not been so deeply moved since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when she went to ground zero two weeks later to pray for the victims.
“It just tugged at my heart and I had to come,” she said. “You don’t look at them like strangers; it’s like they’re family. On Christmas Eve, I’ll be drinking my eggnog and eating but they’re going to be in my heart — not just them, but all policemen, all of them.”
Police officers, city employees, and residents fell silent where they stood at 2:47 p.m. on Tuesday, the time the shootings occurred. “In the 84th Precinct, dozens of their friends and colleagues wore green armbands and bowed their heads,” the Times reported.
Also, in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s request, more New Yorkers joined in to honor the slain officers:
Hours later, at 9 p.m., some of the city’s buildings and landmarks dimmed their lights at the request of Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our city is in pain,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “We ask all New Yorkers to turn their thoughts to our shared identity as New Yorkers and to honoring the memories of the two fine men we lost.”