The New York City Police Department awarded its highest honor on 42 of its members on Tuesday and two of the honorees had made the ultimate sacrifice while wearing the blue uniform. Our Dean Meminger has more.
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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- A day of honor, respect and sadness at police headquarters.
"He loved the NYPD,” said Robert Figoski. “It is very hard I am sorry."
Peter Figoski and Alain Schaberger were posthumously awarded with the department's Medal of Honor. Their families accepted the star shaped medals emblazoned with the seal of the city. The NYPD members were killed in the line of duty last year. Schaberger was pushed off a Brooklyn stoop to his death. Figoski was shot and killed responding to a burglary call.
Robert Figoski said, "It is well appreciated. The pain will never go away. But it means a lot to know that, it really does. "
"We are eternally grateful for their service and sacrifice. No medal can ever repay the debts we owe them or their families. But the work that you all continue to do to make our streets safer for fellow officers, is the greatest tribute anyone could pay them," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
And for their bravery while helping to keep the city safe, 15 other NYPD members received the Medal of Valor. Twelve more were honored with the police Combat Cross for confronting a person with a weapon and often coming under fire.
"I appreciate it very much and it is a proud moment,” said retired detective Kevin Concannon.
“What was going through your mind at that moment when you were going through your combat?” our reporter asked.
“At that moment, we were doing what we were trained to do," Concannon said.
"I am just honored to be a part of a ceremony that honors Detective Figoski and Officer Schaberger and all of the other officers who died in the line of duty," said Lt. Robert Henderson.
Also honored were 13 officers who died of cancer, lung disease and other illnesses after working in the debris at the World Trade center site following the 9/11 attacks.
"With the awarding of the distinguished service medals, we renew our pledge never to forget them or to forget their service or their sacrifice," New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said.