LOWER MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – The NYPD unveiled 35 names to its remembrance wall during its Memorial Day ceremony on Tuesday at 1 Police Plaza.
The majority of the fallen members died of 9/11-related illness. Family members filled the Police Memorial Lobby as NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell addressed the crowd of mourners. She pointed out their loved ones’ names now printed on plaques in the Hall of Heroes.
“A hall of which today we forever include 35 protectors of a city and of a department,” Sewell said.
All 35 deaths are considered line-of-duty death, with 34 of the members dead from 9/11-related illnesses. Detective Anastasios Tsakos was the only member who did not pass away from 9/11-related illness. He was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver on the Long Island Expressway while directing traffic.
“We are also constantly and painfully reminded of our department’s pledge – Fidelis Ad Mortem,” Sewell added, sharing the NYPD’s motto, which means “faithful unto death.”
Floral presentations were also carried out by union representatives and fraternal organizations.
Harry D’onofrio was one of the 34 members who died from 9/11-related illness. He was assigned to the Emergency Service Unit and helped with rescue and recovery at Ground Zero. His son Patrick is a third-generation police officer.
“Any family member that comes here, they’ll be able to see his name up there which means a lot,” Patrick said.
Sergeant Emanuele Alongi worked in Transit District 4 and was in the police academy during 9/11. He rushed to Ground Zero to help. His daughter Angelina said he was funny and intelligent. His brother Salvatore Alongi said he loved music and playing the guitar.
“We wish he was still here with us, but he’s not, so we think about him all the time and we pray for him and for everybody else and that’s it,” Salvatore Alongi said. “We’re carrying on. I love his daughter and I take care of her just like she’s mine.”
The legacy of those lost will live on forever as their names will permanently stand at NYPD Headquarters.