On Friday, May 8, through tear-filled eyes, family, friends, classmates, former teachers, neighbors and brothers in blue prepared to say goodbye to Brian Moore. The officer was post posthumously promoted to detective by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.
Police officers put on their uniforms—in full dress—with a little more pride than they always do. American flags, police car lights, undercover SUVs and vans twinkled red and blue amidst a line of cars that went on for miles down Hempstead Turnpike on May 7 and 8 en route to Hicksville Road, where the wake and funeral of Brian Moore took place. A live newsfeed depicted aerial shots of St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, showing more than 30,000 mourners. Among the thousands were officers lining the streets in a processional march. It was a solemn, silent sea of blue.
My cousin is a police officer in Queens, as are many of my friends. In the past month or so, they have all attended five funerals for their brothers in blue. Sadness is an all too familiar feeling for them, but they are a brotherhood that is resilient in times of tragedy.
A good friend of mine is currently in the academy. I have yet to ask him whether all of these recent officer deaths, especially one that hits so close to home, has made him more afraid or more determined than ever to earn his badge.
I did not know Brian. I do not know if he had a girlfriend who waited by her phone every night to hear that his shift ended safely, or if he had a dog who greeted him at the front door with lovable licks. I don’t know what his favorite movie was or if he kept his room neat; when he realized his calling to protect his people or why he wanted to become a police officer.
While I did not know him, many of my friends and cousins did. Some knew him as “B-Moore,” while others knew him as a fellow Plainedge Red Devil. From what I have read in the numerous messages, posts, comments and prayers over the past few weeks, I regret never having the opportunity to make his acquaintance. This tragedy happened in my own backyard, and although I live in Seaford—very close to the Plainedge border—my house has a blue bow on it.
Nothing breaks the heart more than the death of a child. I am not a parent, so I cannot even begin to imagine what Brian’s mother and father are feeling right now. But I can imagine this: How immensely proud they are of Brian and that they are overwhelmingly grateful from the national outpouring of love for him. I imagine that they are touched by the thousands of blue bows and ribbons that are proudly displayed outside of homes and local business. And I am certain that their hearts will never fully recover from the loss of their son, but that the little pieces of their hearts will slowly be bandaged together with memories and love.
“Goodnight, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”