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NYPD to honor all its fallen amid death of Officer Brian Moore

Ceremonial bunting covers placards of the names of

Ceremonial bunting covers placards of the names of fallen police officers in the Police Memorial Lobby of One Police Plaza, in Manhattan on May 6, 2015. During a ceremony on Thursday, May 7, 2015, new names will be added to the wall. Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

It was a strange yet poignant coincidence.

Within two hours of Officer Brian Moore's death on Monday, workers at police headquarters in Manhattan began the meticulous task of affixing the names of 18 recently deceased NYPD officers to a special memorial wall in the building's lobby.

Once every nameplate was secured, curtains of blue and purple bunting, one vertical and the other horizontal, were unfolded to cover the names.

Thursday morning, the curtains will be pulled aside to publicly reveal the names added to the memorial wall during the annual Police Memorial service.

Some names -- such as those of Dets. Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed Dec. 20 in what the police commissioner called an "assassination," Dennis Guerra, who died of smoke inhalation in April 2014, as well as rookie Michael Williams, 25, who died in a traffic accident in September -- were recently in the public consciousness.

The remaining 14 names that were placed on the vertical memorial space represent members of the department who have died in the past year from what are believed to be the debilitating effects of their work at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Moore's name won't be added to the wall until next year. But his death will be on everyone's mind Thursday. During a special ceremony in Times Square Wednesday as part of National Police Week, Commissioner William Bratton referenced Moore's death in addition to the deaths of the other officers.

"It never gets easier seeing our officers make the ultimate sacrifice," Bratton said.

Bratton told the crowd that this week has been "very poignant" for New York City cops because not only do they commemorate officers who have died in years past, but "this week we had a new tragedy: the death of Brian Moore."

Bratton called Moore, 25, "a hero in every sense of the word" who "died far too young."

Moore, a Massapequa native, died Monday, two days after he was shot in the head in Queens, allegedly by a felon investigators suspect used a five-shot revolver stolen from a Georgia bait and tackle store.

The walls of police headquarters are lined with nine large metal plaques of varying sizes listing the names and dates of death of police, and some civilians, who perished in the line of duty. The earliest death listed dates to 1849.

According to former NYPD Officer Michael Bosak, who has researched department history and is credited over the years with finding names of officers who have been omitted from the memorial, the idea of the plaques dates to the period just before World War I. It was then, Bosak said Wednesday, that the original plaque was installed at the old police headquarters building, at 240 Centre St.

After Sept. 11, the department installed a separate plaque to honor the 23 New York City police officers who died in the terror attack. As other officers died from illnesses attributed to their work at Ground Zero, additional names were added. With the 14 names to be unveiled Thursday, the Sept. 11 plaque contains 105 names, with space to add others.

But the pace of the deaths of cops attributed to Sept. 11 illnesses forced the department to recently lengthen the borders of the plaque to fit the names, said people familiar with the installation. At some point, one official said Wednesday, the current space will be filled and a new spot will have to be picked to add names that are certain to be added.


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