Final farewell: NYPD Officer Tsakos honored and remembered as a kind hero at Greenlawn funeral
Loved ones of NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos said goodbye to the husband and father of two at his funeral in Greenlawn Tuesday.
A wake for the East Northport father was held Monday night, and Tuesday's funeral was at the same Greek Orthodox church.
The 14-year veteran of the force was directing traffic away from a deadly crash on the Long Island Expressway in Queens last week when investigators say Jessica Beauvais, of Hempstead, was driving drunk with a suspended license and struck him.
Tsakos' body was driven from Queens to Greenlawn Monday morning, with first responders standing on overpasses to honor his life.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and Tsakos' wife Irene spoke at the funeral.
"I wish we could grow old together. That was the plan, but he was taken from us too soon," says Irene.
Tsakos's wife delivered a tearful tribute to her husband.
"So many times I'd watch my husband play with my kids, and I'd silently say to God, 'Thank you, I am happy,' and Tasso would look at me and smile," says Irene.
Shea posthumously promoted Tsakos to detective first grade and shared stories of his tireless work ethic. Irene Tsakos remembered her husband as the kindest person she had ever met.
"His heroism uplifts us," says de Blasio. "Some people are true heroes, and that in every way was Anastasios Tsakos."
Rows of officers lined the streets outside the church in Greenlawn following the service to send off Tsakos to his final resting place at Northport Rural Cemetery.
Over the past few days, reaction and help for the family has poured in. Neighbors say Tsakos was incredibly friendly, with one saying he was growing to be like a brother to him, despite only living in the area for a short time.
Neighbors have also been selling blue ribbons to raise money for the Tsakos family and their two young kids.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundations has also stepped in, vowing to pay the family's home mortgage.
Suffolk PBA President Noel DiGerolamo says hundreds of officers were at Tsakos' funeral, adding, "We extend our thoughts and sincerest condolences to the Tsakos family and all members of the NYPD who are grieving this horrible tragedy. The Suffolk County PBA and Officer Tsakos' entire law enforcement family will be there to show support to his family."
Nassau PBA President James McDermott said in a statement, "His immeasurable sacrifice for the safety of all New Yorkers will never be forgotten. The entirety of the law enforcement is united in grief for the Tsakos family, who now face the worst nightmare of any law enforcement family. Nassau County Police share a sacred bond with the members of the NYPD, and stand with them today as they mourn the loss of a brother in uniform."