Mourning: As An Immigrant, Officer Miosotis Embodied the American Dream

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Slain officer Miosotis Familia. Photo-Facebook

 

Transcript of remarks by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at funeral service of NYPD detective Miosotis Familia

Our hearts are broken. But at the same time, we’re here to appreciate. We’re here to lay a hero to rest. But we have to remember the many ways she was a hero – in her service to this city, in her love for her family, and all she did for everyone she came across in life.

Officer Miosotis Familia lived life the right way. We mourn together. We’re here to support each other, we’re here to support her family. But most especially, we’re here to honor her and all she stood for, all she believed in, all she did.

We grieve with this extraordinary family. And they are extraordinary. I’ve had the honor of spending time with this beautiful, warm, large family – here for each other, so clearly, so deeply.

I want to give a special appreciation to Miosotis’s mother, Adriana.

Adriana, you gave your daughter so much strength. And you gave her to all of us. She was a gift to the world. Muchísimas gracias, Adriana.

We’re here to grieve with and support Miosotis’s nine big brothers and sisters – extraordinary family. Each one of them who taught her to be the woman she was. And we are here especially for her three children, who she loved more than anything in the world. Genesis, and Peter, and Delilah, you were her light in so many ways and you continue to be. Miosotis loved her family so deeply, and they loved her back with every fiber of their being.

She had another family she loved deeply – the family of the NYPD, and particularly her brothers and sisters of the 4-6 Precinct, an extraordinary place.

The time I spent at the 4-6 Precinct reminded me that some place you work can also be where you build another family – brothers and sisters there for each other. And it’s a precinct people speak of with a glow in their hearts. So we’re with all of you too.

I want to take us back for a moment – that night of July 4th. And we say the words July 4th, and we think of celebration. It’s a time when we celebrate the wonder of this country – this country where a smart and motivated young woman, like Miosotis Familia, could become everything she dreamed of. She was strong, but kind, resourceful and energetic.

She embodied the American Dream – a child of immigrants, the first in her family to go to college – a beautiful New York City story. A striver, she always was working to better herself and her family. And she had a goal – she wanted with all her heart to be a New York City police officer. She knew nothing would stop her, and nothing did. And she put on that uniform with such pride. She died the night – she died the night her nation was born. And she died a patriot, defending all of us. Back in 1776, it was farmers and craftsmen who put on a uniform to fight for freedom. Centuries later, in that same spirit, it was Miosotis Familia, who put on a uniform to fight so others could live in freedom and peace. She loved this city and she loved this country because she understood its magic. She saw what was possible – what it meant for herself and her children. She lived for them, but she died for all of us.

Now let’s – let’s be clear. And it isn’t easy to say this because it’s so painful. She was killed solely because she wore a uniform. She was murdered while acting as an agent of peace. And we’ve watched with horror these attacks on our police, here in this city and all around our country. But in fact, brothers and sisters, hermanos y hermanas, we must end it.

We – everyone one of us – we the civilians, we must be the guardians of those who protect us. It’s not a one-way street, my friends. We must help our police in every way just as we ask them to help us in our moment of need. When something goes wrong in our life, we expect them to be there. They have the right to the same expectation. So I say to all of us, if someone threatens a police officer anywhere, anytime – in person or online – we need to alert the police to that threat. If any officer is in danger, we need to help them.

And I want to tell you a story that I always come back to because it speaks to the ability of the people to be there for our brothers and sisters in blue. It was a few years ago in Brooklyn. Two rookie officers saw a man getting on a bus without paying his fare. They walked up. They encountered the man. And suddenly this man pulled out a weapon and fired on the officers. One of the officers went down. His partner immediately went to his aid. The perpetrator ran. What happened next speaks to the society we must build together. There were two off duty EMTs who saw this and ran immediately to the aid of the officer. There were community members who ran to the aid of the officer. And then as the perpetrator fled, other community members ran after him in pursuit. More officers arrived, and neighborhood residents pointed the way to where the perpetrator was hiding, so that the officers could arrest him, take away his gun, and take him off the street. Thank God that rookie officer recovered from his wounds.

And in that one moment, we saw community and police as one. And that is what we need more of. We need to understand the police are us. They represent all of us. We have an obligation to provide them with physical protection. We will do that. We will give all the equipment that they need, but they need more than equipment. They need us. They need us to be their eyes and ears. They need our solidarity and support because they are of our communities, by our communities, and for our communities, and no one epitomized that more than Miosotis Familia who lived so near where she served, who was there out of love for her neighbors.

You know, her name – it’s not a name we see a lot, but it comes from a flower. Miosotis is derived from a flower known as the Forget-Me-Not, and it’s a reminder to us to never forget her. We know – we know her spirit will live on in so many ways. In the streets that she made safer, in the lives she protected, most deeply in the family that she nurtured.

I want to conclude by speaking to these three wonderful young people. To Genesis, and Peter, and Delilah – I have to tell you, you could not be more special. You could not be more of an example of everything good about your mother. Peter, you – that horrible night you asked Commissioner O’Neill what do you do now, a young man trying to understand a tragedy. Well, as I’ve talked to you I’ve learned that the answer is already clear because your mother gave you all the tools, all the strength, all the intelligence, all the wisdom.

Not a lot of 12-year-olds who want to be accountants. I kind of admire that. But you love math and science, and you have a wisdom about you that will serve you well. And Delilah, you’re already on your way. You’re already writing things and seeing them published in the school paper, and you love the spoken word and the written word, and you have big dreams. You already know the high school you want to go to and the college you want to go to, and they are wonderful places worthy of you. And you’re on your way too. And Genesis, you are now the rock for this family.

I know you know it. And I know you accept that mantle of leadership even though it isn’t easy for a 20-year-old woman. It’s been thrust upon you way too early, but you’re so full of life and energy just like your mom was and that love of learning she gave you, it sent you all the way to England in pursuit of – as you said – you wanted to learn how to speak English from the people who came up with the idea. You have her passion. You have her intelligence. She gave you everything you need. You’re on your way, too, and you will always have each other.

My friends, Police Officer Miosotis Familia did not die in vain. She made sure to teach the next generation well, and she showed all of us the right way. Now it is up to us to live it.

Thank you and God bless you all.

 

 

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