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City prepares to lay NYPD Detective Wenjian Liu to rest

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BENSONHURST, Brooklyn (PIX11) -- The steel barricades, the police lights and the blue ribbons are already in place here outside The Aievoli funeral home in Bensonhurst.

Thousands of police officers are expected for the wake and the funeral of Detective Wenjian Liu, which will be a blending of both Buddhist and police traditions for a Chinese-American family that really cherishes its privacy.

"I will come to the funeral," neighbor Lisa Addeo told PIX11 News. "What else can we do to help their pain?"

Gravesend neighbors of the Liu family are preparing to attend the huge send off of Detective Wenjian Liu, believed to be the first Chinese American NYPD officer killed in the line of duty. But they know it will be really difficult for Liu's intensely private parents and his widow , who married Liu just last September.

Many of Liu's relatives, who speak only Taishanese, the family 's native dialect, are said to be overwhelmed already by the outpouring of support and the growing memorial in front of the family's home. Funeral officials are expecting the same huge number of police officers from across the country.

But this funeral will be very different from that of Detective Rafael Ramos's last weekend.

Mourners at Chinese funerals may cry and prostrate themselves. Traditionally, it not a time of celebration, but of deep grief.

"There will be the ceremonial burning of paper money and Buddhist monks will lead the prayer service," Joseph Aievoli, funeral director, told PIX11.

This funeral home in the once heavily-Italian neighborhood of Bensonhurst is now blending traditions of its newer residents.

And Detective Liu's neighbors say it is important for everyone to come out and support his grieving family.

Mayor de Blasio and the head of the FBI are expected here on Sunday.

Will some police officers turn their backs on the mayor as they have done previously?

The unofficial spokesman for retired officers of the 84th Precinct is urging fellow officers not to out of respect for Detective Liu's family.

The wake is from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, the funeral starts at 11 a.m. Sunday.