It is truly an honor to join you today as Speaker of the Assembly and also as a fellow New Yorker… to acknowledge the tremendous sacrifice of the uniformed men and women we honor here this morning.
Each day, we wake up and set out to live our lives. We don't worry about the dangers we might encounter each time we step outside or when we travel along the roadways.
As parents, we place our children in the care of others, painfully aware that we can't always be there to keep them safe. I believe that this is the power of faith.
I believe… as all of us here today believe… this is the power of knowing that in our time of need… someone will be there to answer the call for help. No matter the hour, no matter how dangerous the circumstances, there are heroes among us who put their lives on the line every day.
We are blessed to enjoy a life of freedom and safety but we must never forget that freedom has a price. Safety… has a price.
Our police officers ARE the shields that allow us to go about our daily lives with the weight of our own safety, and that of our families, resting on THEIR shoulders.
These perfect strangers who wake up each day and wear the proud uniform of heroes and guardian angels deserve every measure of gratitude and honor that we can possibly afford them. Tragically, we don't always take the opportunity to say "thank you" before they are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The 27 men and women whose sacrifice and whose memory we honor today have paid that price so that we could live on… Officer Brian Moore… just 25 years old… paid that price yesterday in the City of New York.
These heroes answer a call to duty that is heard by many but answered by precious few. I know I speak for every New Yorker when I say "thank you" to their parents… to their spouses… when I look at their children and when I shake the hands of their colleagues.
Because of their bravery… because of their belief that I am my brother's keeper… all across this state, millions of New Yorkers can sleep soundly… knowing that their families and loved ones are safe from danger.
To each and every one of you that is here today… and for the countless others who could not be here… thank you… for sharing them with us and for the burdens they carried so we wouldn't have to.