Hundreds of family and friends and thousands of fellow police officers gathered inside and around St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in Greenlawn, New York, on Tuesday for the funeral of NYPD officer Anastasios Tsakos, who was killed last Tuesday in the line of duty.
Tsakos, 43, was a 14-year veteran of the department and died after being fatally struck by an alleged drunk driver while directing traffic on the Long Island Expressway in Queens.
The fallen officer lay in an open casket during the funeral service, which was officiated by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. Attendees included Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, among other public figures.
“We’re all mourning right now. We’re all in pain right now,” de Blasio said. “It does not make sense that such a good man — in every way — could possibly be gone.”
“As we gather here today, still reeling from the tragic death of Tasso, as everyone knew him, we are shocked, scared and angered at the unfairness and senselessness that took him from us,” Shea said.
Tsakos’ wife Irene shared a heartfelt, teary-eyed tribute to her husband — the father to their two children, who are 3 and 6 years old.
“He was the best father to our children, so loving and nurturing,” she said. “He was a hands-on dad — there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his children.”
No more than 180 people were allowed to attend the funeral indoors due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In a final tribute, thousands of police officers from throughout the United States stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the road outside the church to pay their respects to Tsakos. The NYPD Special Ops shared video footage of the tribute via Twitter.
A GoFundMe page has raised more than $247,000 for the family as of Wednesday, while another fundraiser by Fund the First has raised more than $85,000. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation also announced that it will pay off the mortgage on the family’s home.
ABC7NY live-streamed the funeral via YouTube on Tuesday. The video can be viewed here.
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