Dozens of New York’s Finest were joined by the wives and widows of NYPD heroes at the annual “Back the Blue” rally in Midtown Manhattan Wednesday.
“There was never a day that went by that my husband regretted his choice to become a police officer,” said Patti McDonald, the widow of famed Det. Steven McDonald, who spent 30 years in a wheelchair after being shot while on duty in 1986. He died in 2017.
“Just like his grandfather and father before him, Steven wanted to protect the city to which he was born in. He believed in the greatness of this city and knew that it must be protected at all costs,” she said.
“Until his dying day, Steven never regretted one second of his choice.”
The rally, hosted by WABC-Radio, urges New Yorkers to donate to the Back the Blue Foundation, a nonprofit that supports police officers in need and their families.
Among the heroes highlighted this year was ex-NYPD Det. Dalsh Veve, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and remains confined to a wheelchair after getting dragged by a stolen car in Brooklyn in 2017.
“He’s still unable to read her stories or tuck [our daughter] in at night,” his wife, Esther Veve, said Wednesday. “We shared dreams that can no longer be fulfilled because we are now tied to wherever Dalsh receives his medical care.
“Nothing in our lives is the same,” she said. “Dalsh has given so much to the city and represents the work of our brave officers that serve our communities. A life of public service.”
Also on hand was Sandy Liu, the widow of slain NYPD Det. Wenjan Liu.
About 50 people were on hand for the annual commemoration, including current and former cops, their families and supporters to honor the Big Apple’s heroes — and warn about threats to the uniform.
“Law enforcement at this time in our history is probably the most difficult job there is, not only here in New York City but also throughout the whole state and throughout the whole country,” Paul DiGiacomo, president of the NYPD Detectives Endowment Association, told the crowd.
“For the first time in my life, I’ve never seen recruitment in the NYPD being a problem,” he said. “But policing throughout the whole country is a dying profession, and it’s a dying profession because you don’t have the full support of government.
“We need to start thinking the right way.”