Vice President Joe Biden spoke on Saturday morning at the Queens church where thousands of New York police officers arrived to pay their respects to fallen NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos.
"A father, a husband, a son…a seven-year veteran on the force," Biden said to the gathered mourners. "Being a cop is not what they did, it's who they were. It's who you are. They, like every one of you in this church and outside, you all joined for essentially the same reason. There was something about you that made you think you could help, that you should serve, that you had a duty."
Ramos, 40, and fellow officer Wenjian Liu, 32, were fatally shot by Ismaaiyl Brinsley while on duty in New York earlier this week. Tens of thousands of police officers from across the country were expected to make the journey to New York to pay their respects. Besides Biden, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke at Ramos' funeral, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Vice President Biden addressed the challenge of serving as a police officer in New York, calling it "an intimidating city, a city of others, a city of borders."
"(It is) a city constantly grappling with issues as old as the nation and as new as the morning headlines," Biden said. "Yet this chaotic miracle stands as a beacon to the world — in no small part because of the sacrifices the New York police department makes every single day."