The White House announced it’s sending Vice President Joe Biden to services for fallen NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos.
“The President has asked Vice President Biden to attend the service for Officer Rafael Ramos and is grateful that the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden will be traveling to New York City to attend the service on Saturday,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told the press pool while they were waiting for the president as he played golf. “Additional details will be forthcoming from the Vice President’s office.”
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said visitation for Ramos would be Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, N.Y.
Ramos’ funeral will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the same location.
Services for Officer Wenjian Liu are pending as officials arrange visas for his family to come over from China for the funeral.
Liu was married just two months ago. Ramos leaves behind a wife and two teenagers.
“They are in tremendous pain. And they are worried deeply in the Ramos family’s case, two teenagers, who remind me now of my own children who now don’t have a father,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters yesterday.
“The family is extraordinary, the Ramos family, they are close-knit, warm, large family, a family that really believes — they have strong Christian faith, they have a strong sense of family, they strongly belief in public service,” de Blasio continued. “Officer Ramos was extraordinarily proud to be a member of the NYPD. And all of that is giving the Ramos family some ability to find strength in the middle of this pain. But still you have two teenaged young men, good young men who no longer have a father because of an assassin.”
“And it was very difficult for Charlaine and I to talk to two kids that of course we saw the parallel to our own children and hear them trying to put on a brave face, find their best to make sense of such a painful situation. They were incredibly admirable, impressive young men. I told them that I lost my own dad when I was 18. And that as painful and difficult as it is, families come together, people find a way forward.”
De Blasio said he told Ramos’ sons “we would all be there for them.”
“That the NYPD family would be there for them and the people of New York City and the family of New York would be there for them. And we will be.”
He also went to see the Liu family. “And this family is feeling such a profound pain and fear for the parents. This was their only child, their only son. They feel distraught like so much of what they lived for is gone. His wife of only two months — I can’t tell you how painful it is to talk to a young woman who had just begun this beginning of a whole new life, looking forward to building a family. And now her husband is gone in an instant,” the mayor said.
“And again, they found strength in the other family members who are there. And I want to thank the NYPD and our colleagues in the federal government who are doing a fantastic job working to get other family members from China back so they can be of support to the Lius at this incredibly difficult time. So we just let them know also that they were part of a larger family, now that we would stand by them throughout.”
President Obama is scheduled to be vacationing in Hawaii through Dec. 4. Since arriving Saturday he’s played golf, dined with friends and hit the beach and gym.
The White House said Obama phone Bratton on Sunday to express condolences “and offer support in the coming days and weeks,” Schultz said.
“In their conversation, the President reiterated his call for the American people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal – prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen. The President told Commissioner Bratton that his staff would continue to monitor the situation in New York, and that Administration officials would be working with leaders across the country to echo the same message. The President also offered the Commissioner his full support for any possible assistance in the days and weeks ahead.”