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PR- 335-11
September 23, 2011


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Remarks as Prepared for Delivery at First Baptist Church in Brooklyn Follow:

“Good morning. I want to begin by offering the deepest condolences from myself and Police Commissioner Kelly to the friends and family of Police Officer Sherman Abrams and to all those who served alongside him in the New York City Correction Department and the New York City Police Department. Like so many New Yorkers, Commissioner Kelly and I were very saddened to hear about Sherman’s passing.

“When someone so young is taken from us – so abruptly and without warning – it feels deeply unfair. There is no explanation that can remove the sorrow from our hearts today. But in our sadness, let us remember the wisdom of an old Hebrew proverb: Say not in grief that Sherman is no more but live in thankfulness that he was.

“Let us give thanks for a man who dedicated his life to serving his City – first as a Correction Officer, and then as a member of New York’s Finest.

“Let us give thanks for a friend who was always ready with a joke or a kind word, and who, I’m told, wouldn’t let a single bite of junk food pass your lips without telling you exactly what was in it.

“Let us give thanks for a neighbor who cared so much about his community here – and back in the Caribbean – that he spent long hours organizing a clothing drive to help the people of Haiti after the disastrous earthquake.

“Let us give thanks for a student who sat in the front row and hung on every word his instructors at the Police Academy said – and who often stayed back during breaks to soak up all the knowledge he could.

“Let us give thanks for a cadet who brought his company – Company 17 – together, and who entertained his classmates by asking endless questions about New York State Penal Law in general – and choke-holds in particular.

“Finally, let us give thanks for a beloved family member: A loyal sibling who always wanted to spend more time with his brother, Gary; a devoted son who got his first job at 14 years old and did whatever he could to help support his family; and a loving father, who prized his daughter, Lexy, above all things in this world, and thought only of her future happiness.

“This was Sherman Abrams. And this is the life we give thanks for today.

“Gary, Florence, Sherman Senior, I wish there was something more we could do to lessen your pain – or to help you bear it. The road ahead will not be easy for you – or for Lexy – and I hope you will find comfort in each other and draw strength from the goodness that Sherman brought to your lives and to our City.

“I know that there is also another family grieving here today: Sherman’s family at the New York City Police Department – especially, his fellow members of Company 17. You may have known Sherman for only a few months, but I’m betting it felt much longer than that. The bonds you form at the Academy with your fellow police officers are very strong. And it’s not easy to suffer a loss like this ever, but especially not so early in your careers.

“All of you who knew Sherman well also know how much he wanted to become a New York City Police Officer. He waited years for the call; and when it finally came, he couldn’t have been happier or prouder. He entered the Academy determined to learn all he could and become the best police officer he could be.

“And the best way you can honor his memory is by doing the same. In fact, I think you’ve already taken that to heart. One of the Academy instructors told us that Sherman’s classmates had to take a test very soon after they got the news of his passing. They were understandably upset, and a little distracted. But every single officer in Company 17 passed that test. And the company as a whole outperformed 34 other companies. I’m very proud of you – and Sherman would be too.

“New York City owes its greatness to women and men like Sherman who – every day – leave the comforts of home and family behind to face unknown dangers. They do it to protect the rest of us. Because of them, crime has fallen more than 35 percent over the past decade. And because of them, the past four-year period has been the 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 will we forget the sacrifices of those who loved them and feel their losses most deeply.

“May God bless the memory of Sherman Abrams. May God bless the many lives he touched. And may God bless the New York City Police Department.”


Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958


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