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Friday, January 13, 2017: New York City: The City of New York said a final goodbye to New York City Police Department Detective Steven McDonald with a funeral service fit for a hero at NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Family, friends, hundreds of officers, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner James O’Neil, and a bagpipe band honored the life the officer who passed away at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island on Tuesday following a massive heart attack.
McDonald was known worldwide for publicly forgiving a teenage gunman who shot him on July 12, 1986, in Central Park leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
Following the shooting which made a McDonald quadriplegic, the officer became an advocate for peace and reconciliation. Detective McDonald regularly visited schools, church groups, and police stations to promote nonviolence and forgiveness. McDonald also traveled to Israel, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia to spread his message.
The hearse carrying McDonald’s body arrived at St. Patrick’s Cathedral escorted by police motorcycles. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, a close friend of McDonald, led the funeral mass.
“No one could have predicted that Steven would touch so many people, in New York and around the world,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement. “Like so many cops, Steven joined the NYPD to make a difference in people’s lives. And he accomplished that every day. He is a model for each of us as we go about our daily lives. He will be greatly missed, and will always remain a part of our family.”