January 21, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you so much, and today we honor two good men, guardians, and heroes of our city, 22-year-old Jason Rivera and 27-year-old Wilbert Mora.
To Jason's wife, Dominique, and his parents, Anna and Daniel; To Wilbert's mother, Amilia, and his father Badui, and his sister Karina, and brothers Wilson and Jonathan, we grieve with you today.
I couldn't help, while sitting here, reflecting on the 27-year-old in my life, my son Jordan — my only son. I remember the day he was born and the doctor moved to assist his mother. I moved the doctor's hand because I wanted to be the only one and the first one to touch Jordan's head. I remember watching him, sitting there and nurturing and holding him, and every year being there with him.
Jordan is 27 now, a young man. I cannot imagine the pain that is associated with losing these two young men, 22-years-old and 27-years-old. It breaks our heart every day that the commissioner and I go to the hospital and watch young people being lost at such a promising age.
I remember the two of us standing in the hospital that day and watching your family and seeing the intensity of the pain that you experienced receiving that notification that you've lost the sons, your brothers, your husband, persons that you love. Our hearts grieved with you, and 365 days does not allow us to see the pain dissipate. Every birthday, every holiday, every time you hear a song or think about a facial expression that is made by both of these heroes, you think about today.
We cannot take that pain away. All we can do is to say what you will say to us. We are here for you. And the family that embraces you, not only your immediate family, but the men and women who put on the blue uniform and adorn that shield. They see your loved ones, Jason and Wilbert, stood in the pathway of violence to protect their fellow New Yorkers. I say over and over again, this profession waters the tree of freedom that allows us to sit from the ray of violence and crime. We cannot thank you enough. And we know the pain is real. When they transitioned from the physical to the spiritual, they left a symbol of everlasting understanding and respect.
When you think about these two young men, Dominican immigrants, coming to the country, embracing the country they love, but watching how we can do a better job of ensuring that we have the peace that we all need, we're dedicated and committed to this everlasting understanding that it is the peace that we deserve and we are committed to.
We know and we're reminded daily that the foundation of our city and our country lies in the understanding of the men and women who stand on the front line and prevent the violence that we experience. We thank you for giving us your son, your brother, your husband. We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure we do not lose young people in this manner.
May God be with you and your families as we remember the loss of two of our heroes that committed their lives to the safety of our city. And I also want to give my thanks to Officer Sulan. His heroic actions on that day saved the lives of so many of his colleagues and fellow New Yorkers. His heroic stance protected us, even in the midst of the violence. That is what we do every day and will continue to do.
May God be with you. May God be with our city, and may God be with our country. Thank you.