43 names added to memorial
The names of 43 fallen police officers — included one who died in 1869 — were added to the Police Memorial Wall in a solemn ceremony in Battery Park City Friday.
The NYPD has recently sought to catch up on its history, honoring cops killed in the line of duty but never officially recognized at either the One Police Plaza memorial wall or the one in Battery Park.
On Friday, the name of Patrolman John Branagan, who died in an 1869 ferry yard accident in Brooklyn, was added to the wall on the Hudson.
Branagan, whose rank was the precursor to today’s officer, was struck by a load of lumber that fell from a horse-drawn truck he was guiding out of the yard, according to reports.
Fifteen other cops who died in the 20th century, including Lt. Daniel O’Connor, killed in a car accident on the FDR drive in 1974, were also honored.
Twenty-four officers who died from Sept. 11 related illnesses, mostly cancer, were memorialized.
So, too, were Sgt. Donald Coniff, who died in December 2015 from injuries suffered when a drunken driver slammed into his car as he headed to work on New Year’s Day in 1988; Det. Miosotis Familia, who was executed in the Bronx in July 2017, and Det. Steven McDonald, who died in January 2017 of complications from gunshot wounds suffered at the hands of a teen robbery suspect in Central Park in 1986.
His widow, Patti Ann McDonald, remembered him visiting the memorial “to look at the names and remember the men and women.”
“It’s a comfort to come here now and to see Stephen’s name and to know that he will be remembered forever,” she said. “He would be proud, humbled, honored.”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill called the ceremony among the most important the department holds.
“Their lives were spent and ultimately ended in service to this great city and the people they cared so much about,” he said.
Loved ones gather Friday at Battery Park City memorial to fallen Finest, where (below, from left) NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner James O’Neill pay tribute.