Candlelight vigil in Pearl River for slain NYPD officers draws 500

BY CAROL McILMURRAY 

Patrick Basler, son of a member of the NYPD, was one of 500 Rocklanders who appeared at a vigil in memory of two slain NYPD officers Sunday night
Patrick Basler, son of a member of the NYPD, was one of over 500 Rocklanders who appeared at a vigil in memory of two slain NYPD officers Sunday night

PEARL RIVER- As mourners met in NYC’s Time Square to grieve the senseless killing of two NYPD officers, Pearl River held its own vigil in the middle of Central Field at 6 p.m., Sunday evening.

The gathering, strongly attended by local police, resident members of the NYPD, EMT, FDNY, and other first responders, as well as their families, and hundreds of supporters, was over 500 strong.

Local community leaders stood side by side with NYPD veterans expressing not only concern over the heinous crimes, but solidarity as well. Orangetown Board members, County Executive Ed Day, as well as Rockland Sheriff Lou Falco stood together under the lights of the gazebo as a quiet crowd holding white lights and wearing blue ribbons looked on from all sides of the structure.

Many members of the community were planning to travel to Times Square until Pearl River resident Kathy Whitney, a daughter and wife of two NYPD cops, organized the memorial in Pearl River via social media Sunday morning.  By utilizing Facebook and Pearl River Parents at Play, Whitney and fellow organizers were able to gather over 500 by nightfall.

Carmel Reilly of Pearl River said, “We want the world to know we stand with NYPD.”

Reilly also noted that Pearl River Hook and Ladder members sent out a fire truck lit up “completely” blue with a flag flying half-staff for recently lost members of NYPD.

Fire engine lit up in blue in solidarity with slain NYPD officers
Fire engine ladder lit up in blue in remembrance of two slain NYPD officers

Rockland Sheriff Lou Falco noted, “[Thousands of] members of the NYPD reside in the county, and many of our local police were once brothers and sisters in New York City Police Department, securing bonds and communications” that can never be broken.