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A funeral was held Tuesday for NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos, a 14-year veteran and father of two killed in the line of duty last week. CBS2's John Dias reports from Long Island.
- --emotional day. After a week of mourning for the NYPD, hundreds remembering officer Anastasios Tsakos. The 14-year veteran died in the line of duty last week, when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver. This morning, mourners gathered to pay their respects at a funeral service on Long Island, where Officer Tsakos lived with his wife and two young children. CBS 2's John Dias is live in Greenlawn, where the service concluded just moments ago. John.
JOHN DIAS: Yeah, good afternoon, Mary. I'm actually going to be keeping down my voice right now, because the funeral procession was supposed to have wrapped up, but as you can see right here behind me, it is still going on. We have lines of police officers out here right now, hundreds of cops out here paying their respects. So keeping my voice down here to do just that as well.
Now, his wife, Irene, she just said the closing remarks at the funeral. You'll hear more from her coming up at 5:00. But as you can imagine, she is just completely devastated, saying that her husband was the nicest guy you could meet she says that she Mrs. everything about him. Most of all, she misses hugging him.
Gray clouds consume the sky above an even more somber sight on the ground, as loved ones of fallen hero 43-year-old NYPD officer Anastasios Tsakos make their way into his funeral service. A sea of blue silently embrace them from afar, but their large presence speaks volumes. And inside St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church--
- We pray for the repose of the soul of God's servant Anastasios.
JOHN DIAS: Even more support.
DERMOT SHEA: We're all morning right now. We're all in pain right now. It does not make sense that such a good man in every way could possibly be gone. Some people are true heroes. Some people are there for others. And that, in every way, was Anastasios Tsakos. God certainly knows His plan. We do not. And while Taso may indeed be in a better place, we all want him here with us.
JOHN DIAS: So many lives at today's funeral were changed forever last week when Officer Tsakos was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while directing traffic on the LIE. The woman, allegedly driving under the influence, was arrested a short time later.
JOHN VLAHOS: Last week, in the midst of our Holy Week, when the Lord of the universe laid down his life--
JOHN DIAS: Father John Vlahos is saying Tsakos was taken too soon, but will live on in loved ones.
JOHN VLAHOS: He survives in his mother and father, who gave Taso a love of America.
JOHN DIAS: Family flew in from Greece to be here, including his parents, showing love and support for his six-year-old daughter, three-year-old son, and his wife, Irene. They all just moved to East Northport, Long Island last year. Former Congressman Peter King just met with them.
PETER KING: She was very strong, but very distraught at the same time. The family seemed shattered.
JOHN DIAS: Tsakos was a 14-year veteran of the NYPD, part of the highway division. Both his work motorcycle and personal one were transported to the service. Retired narcotics officer Jamie Cabano of Oakdale, Long Island, didn't know Tsakos, but felt compelled to bring her two sons today, who want to be police officers when they grow up.
JAMIE CABANO: Because you can't teach this lesson of honor and respect. You know, they have to see it sometimes firsthand, unfortunately, as it may be. We're a family of blue. You know, we all bleed blue.
JOHN DIAS: And a live look back out here at the funeral. Again, we are keeping our voices down here today, because the procession is still going on. The family will be walking out, really, at any moment here today. As you can see, though, again, hundreds of police officers are out here. And police commissioner Dermot Shea actually just promoted Officer Tsakos after death to Detective. We're going to have much more coming up later on today on the 5:00 and 6:00 o'clock news, so keep it here with Channel 2. But for now, we are live this afternoon. From Greenlawn, Long Island, John Dias, CBS 2 News.