NEWBURGH, N.Y. – Hundreds waited in the cold to pay their respects to the family of NYPD Detective Joseph Lemm at his wake in West Harrison Tuesday.
The 45-year-old Technical Sergeant in the Air National Guard was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month. A suicide bomber killed Lemm and 5 other soldiers.
Lemm was a Detective with the 50th precinct in The Bronx.
Paul Tedesco attended St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church with Lemm in West Harrison. He came to the wake to say thank you "for all that he's done for us, keeping us safe."
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino attended the wake at the church Tuesday afternoon. He said the word "hero" is easily tossed around, but Lemm deserves it.
"A guy who does three tours overseas, protects his community as a police officer in a very bad, dangerous part of America and then unfortunately his life is taken from him; that's a hero," Astorino said.
West Harrison neighbors, friends, NYPD officers and members of the military all attended the wake. Sean Gavin, of the 106th Rescue Wing out of Long Island, drove up to Westchester for the wake.
"In one way shape or form, we are all family, brothers, sisters. And it's a tight knit group. It doesn't matter if you are from his unit or not," Gavin said.
Lemm's body returned to New York Monday. His wife, teenage daughter and young son were at the Stewart Air National Guard Base to meet the casket.
A funeral Mass is schedule for Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.