On Tuesday, 101 additional names were inscribed into the New York State Police Officers’ Memorial's black granite walls, each one read aloud to honor those who died in the line of duty.
“This memorial stands as a tangible reminder of their bravery, dedication and service to the people of New York state,” said Michael Green, executive deputy commissioner for the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
The annual remembrance ceremony at the Empire State Plaza in Albany recognized police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2019 and 2020.
The event didn’t happen last year due to the pandemic.
Among the names added Tuesday were eight officers who died from COVID-19.
“They continued to work and protect, and today we honor those officers who lost their lives due to that deadly virus,” said Peter Abbate, state Assembly member for the 49th district.
The ceremony was held just weeks after the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and the impact of that day and the weeks that followed continued to be visible at the memorial.
Of the 101 officers, 83 added this year passed away due to a 9/11 illness.
“The numbers are just numbers. There’s a person behind every one of those,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
In remembering the fallen officers, the governor also praised their family members for their strength. She said the event is a very modest way of showing respect.
“Respect for those whose lives we’ve lost, and respect for those who continue to proudly wear the uniform,” Hochul said.
Three decades after the memorial was dedicated, its walls now hold the names of more than 1,600 fallen officers.