FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DELIVERS EULOGY FOR POLICE OFFICER ALAIN SCHABERGER
The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's remarks as prepared for delivery at Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in East Islip, NY this morning.
“Thank you, Reverend, and good morning.
“I want to begin by offering my deepest condolences to the friends and family of Police Officer Alain Schaberger, and to all those who served alongside him in the U.S. Navy and the New York City Police Department.
“By all accounts, Alain was a quiet and gentle soul who walked softly on the earth and moved easily among different types of people. He was born in Vietnam, but grew up as an American. He lived in a quiet town on the Hudson, but spent his nights patrolling the streets of Downtown Brooklyn.
“And in his free time, he liked going to pow wows in South Carolina with his fiancée, Shoshone. He embraced the traditions and heritage of the Pee Dee Tribe. And they embraced him and saw him as Shoshone did: as Nitap – a friend. It seems wherever Alain went in the world he became a friend, a neighbor, and a protector.
“Paul: it must make you and May very proud that Alain followed in your footsteps and joined the U.S. Armed Forces. He dedicated his life to service and doing good and every group he met along the way considered him one of their own. And that includes New York’s Finest.
“Working the night shift isn’t easy, but Alain’s fellow officers knew they could always count on ‘Berger’ to arrive at just the right time with a coffee or a kind word.
“During meal breaks, Alain and the other officers would go grab a bite at Peas & Pickles, chat about motorcycles, and have a few laughs. In those moments, it was easy to forget about the risks involved in police work. But unfortunately that danger is always present, especially on domestic violence calls.
“On Sunday, one of those calls brought Alain to the steps of a home wracked by violence and chaos. He spent the last moments of his life trying to subdue a very dangerous man – a man of his own age, but different from him in every possible respect.
“Instead of providing comfort to his loved ones, this man terrorized and threatened them. Instead of upholding the laws, he broke them. It’s upsetting to think that this encounter with a violent criminal ended a life as good and promising as Alain’s.
“It makes you heartsick. It makes you angry. And it makes you deeply, deeply grateful for the work our police officers do.
“New York City owes its greatness to women and men like Alain who – every day – leave the comforts of home and family behind to face the worst side of humanity. They do it to protect the rest of us.
“Because of them, crime has fallen more than 40 percent over the past decade. Because of them, domestic violence crimes are down 26 percent over that same period. And because of them, the last three years have been the three safest in our City’s history.
“We will never forget the sacrifices of the men and women who have brought us to this place. Nor we will forget the sacrifices of those who loved them and feel their loss most deeply: the parents; children; siblings; friends; colleagues; and significant others whose futures are rewritten by these tragedies.
“Alain knew a lot about grief. One of his first assignments as a police officer – while he was still in the Academy in the days after 9/11 – was to guard the check points around Ground Zero and help the families who came there cope with their horrific losses.
“He brought a lot of comfort to a lot of people. And if he were here today, to comfort those he loved most – his family, his friends, his fiancée Shoshone and her sons – I think he would tell you to remember not the last tragic moment of his life, but the many wonderful moments that came before it.
“Those lazy summer evenings spent barbequing and playing a game or two of badminton. The excitement of his early dates with you, Shoshone – watching a beautiful sunset over the water, followed by a trip to the ice cream shop. Or the moment he slipped that ring on your finger and asked you to be his wife.
“The happiness Alain brought to your life and to so many others is something that will continue to live on in your hearts. And the story of his service and sacrifice will continue to live on in our city.
“Through his benevolence and bravery, Alain displayed the very best qualities of New York City. And we will forever be proud to call him one of our own.
“May God bless the memory of Alain Schaberger. May God bless the many lives he touched. And may God bless the New York City Police Department.
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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