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Don't live life without it. And we return to our American stories. And this week, well, it's National Police Week and we're honoring and celebrating the law enforcement community, particularly those who lost their lives in the line of duty. On January 21st, 2022, NYPD Detective Jason Rivera and his partner, Wilbert Mora, responded to a domestic dispute call in Harlem. The suspect would open fire and kill both of them.
Detective Rivera was just 22 years old. Here's the heartbreaking eulogy Detective Rivera's wife, Dominique, gave him at St. Patrick's Cathedral. I would say good morning to you all. But in fact, this is the worst morning ever. I can't believe I'm standing in front of thousands of people in the cathedral we plan to visit later this year.
All of this seems so unreal, like I'm having one of those nightmares that you never thought you'd have. Friday morning, we were together eating breakfast and drinking some Starbucks. Eating was probably our favorite hobby.
Maybe that's why we gained those extra pounds. Friday morning began just like every other morning before work. You were always my big spoon, watching Netflix, YouTube law enforcement shorts. Read me your emails and wait for your mom to come home. You packed your book bag because we had to leave before two. And really, before two sharp.
Because of your ICO sergeant. You would drive me home and say goodbye with three kisses all the time. And texted me when you were 84. That was our routine. And you're listening to Dominique do what she never wanted to do, planned to do, and my goodness, didn't want to do. At St. Patrick's Cathedral, a place she told the audience, she planned on visiting with her husband later that year. It was the worst morning ever, she said.
Let's return to Dominique. At around 1500, I received a BRB roll call text. You told me about your jobs till it was EOT. This Friday was different. We had an argument. You know, it's hard being a cop life sometimes. It's hard being patient when plans were canceled or we would go days without seeing each other.
Or when you had to write a report that would take forever because you had to vouch for so many things. So you did OT. But you always reminded me that it was going to be all right. This Friday we were arguing because I didn't want you to use your job phone while we were together. We left your apartment and because I didn't want to continue to argue, I ordered an Uber. You asked me if you are sure that you don't want me to take you home, it might be the last ride I give you.
I said no, and that was probably the biggest mistake I ever made. And we're listening to Dominique confess that the last thing she did with her departed husband was fight with her husband. Dominique confess that the last thing she did with her departed husband was fight with him and fight with him over.
Well, yeah, fight with him over being a cop and the strains being a cop puts on a marriage and on a spouse and their family. Let's return to Dominique. Later that day, I received the call. I wish none of you that are sitting here with me will ever receive.
I had gotten a notification from the citizen app, which was my central. And I saw that two police officers were shot in Harlem. My heart dropped. I immediately texted you and asked you, are you okay? Please tell me you're okay. I know that you're mad right now, but just text me.
You're okay. At least tell me you're busy. I get no response.
We used to share locations and find my iPhone. And when I check yours, I see that you're at Harlem Hospital. I thought maybe you were sitting on a perp, but still nothing. I called and then called again and then called one more time. And this time I felt something wasn't right.
I messaged Pioca, David and Joe, because I know they were your friends from the three two. And I get no response. Then I get a call asking if I'm Jason's wife and then I had to rush to the hospital. She got that news that no spouse wants to hear.
And it wasn't particular to start. Two police officers shot in Harlem and she knows that's her husband's beat. So she texts him, are you okay? I called and called again.
I called him one more time. That's when I knew things weren't right. And then, of course, she learns. Well, she learns what happens and now it's off to the hospital.
Let's return to Dominique. Walking all those steps, seeing everybody staring at me was the scariest moment I've experienced. Nobody was telling me anything. Thousands of people were surrounding me, and yet I fell alone. I couldn't believe you left me. Seeing you in a hospital bed wrapped up in sheets, not hearing you when I was talking to you, broke me.
I asked why. I said to you, wake up, baby. I'm here. The little bit of hope I had that you would come back to life just to say goodbye or say I love you one more time had left. I was lost.
I'm still lost. Today I'm still in this nightmare that I wish I never had. Full of rage and anger, hurt and sad, torn. Although I gained thousands of blue brothers and sisters, I'm the loneliest without you.
I couldn't believe you left me, she said to her deceased husband. Wake up, baby. I'm here. Wake up, baby. I'm here.
No response. I'm lost, she said, surrounded by a sea of officers in blue. I'm lost and I'm alone. Let's return to Jason Rivera's wife, Dominique. I know you're looking at me and beside me telling me I could do this, and I'm trying.
Trust me, I am. Jason and I met in elementary school. There was never a dull moment with him around.
He was the class clown, got me in trouble a couple of times, had our teachers sit us away from each other because we couldn't focus. And we never thought that our innocent childhood love would lead us to marriage. Even when we said I do, we couldn't believe we said it. October 9th was the happiest day of our lives. I know I drove you crazy saying I love you so many times that you would stop replying, I love you more, but you made me feel alive. You make me feel alive. Jason is so happy right now that all of you are here. Through pain and sorrow, this is exactly how he would have wanted to be remembered, like a true hero, or like I used to call him, big P.O.
Rivera. You have the whole nation on gridlock, and although you won't be here anymore, I want you to live through me. The system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore.
Not even the members of the service. I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new D.A. I hope he's watching you speak through me right now. I'm sure all of our blue family is tired too, but I promise, we promise, that your death won't be in vain. I love you to the end of time. We'll take the watch from here. I love you till the end of time. We'll take the watch from here. The story of Jason Rivera, the story of so many officers across this country who've lost their lives serving and protecting us.
National Police Week all week long here on our American Stories honoring those who lost their lives and honoring their families here on our American Stories. What if you could choose a medical provider who makes you the priority? A provider who truly listens to your concerns, answers your questions, and explains your treatment. A provider who sees you as more than just their next patient.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-17 04:23:24 / 2023-05-17 04:28:02 / 5