A bouquet of flowers is presented to an NYPD officer...

A bouquet of flowers is presented to an NYPD officer representing a deceased member of the department Wednesday during a ceremony at One Police Plaza in Manhattan. Credit: Louis Lanzano

The names of 42 NYPD officers and a department crossing guard were added to the ever-lengthening memorial wall at police headquarters Wednesday — a somber ceremony and also a grim yearly reminder of the human toll exacted by police work.

Bronze plaques inscribed with the 43 names of the dead, including of police officers from Long Island and other parts of the metropolitan area, joined nearly 1,200 others on the walls of the Manhattan headquarters ground floor foyer. The names date back to the mid-19th century and represent officers who died in the line of duty.

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban started off the ceremony by telling New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the rest of the large audience inside the foyer that the event's intent was “to renew 43 promises. To remember the 43 lives spent helping others and to honor the 43 families who have given everything in service to our city.”

Among the plaques added Wednesday: One containing the name of NYPD school crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa, 63, who was struck and killed in October by a dump truck while on duty in Queens.

One name that will likely be added next year is that of NYPD Det. Jonathan Diller, 31, a married father of one from Massapequa Park, who was shot dead in March by a suspect in Far Rockaway, Queens, during an encounter with suspects in a parked car. Under past NYPD practice it takes about a year before a fallen officer’s name is added to the wall.

The ceremony often invokes patriotic rhetoric and this year was no exception. When it was his turn at the podium, Adams spoke with disdain about protesters on City College's Manhattan campus who took down an American flag and hoisted a Palestinian flag.

“We watched these last few days as the American flag was removed and other flags put in its place,” Adams said. “Not in our America, we won’t desecrate the lives of men and women who wear bulletproof vests and stand on street corners to protect us from those who want to disrupt our way of life.”

Adams said the fallen police officers honored Wednesday, as well as other cops killed nationwide, “water the tree of freedom with their blood” to prevent crime “from permeating our society.”

Along with Naprawa's name, others added Wednesday included those of two chiefs, one captain, seven lieutenants, three sergeants, 19 detectives and 10 police officers, most killed by illnesses contracted at Ground Zero.

NYPD officials couldn’t provide the hometowns of the officers commemorated. But at least two Long Islanders, Assistant Chief James L. Ward of Centerport and Lt. Zachary Slavin of Rockville Centre, were among those honored. Ward died in 2021 and Slavin in 2022, both from illnesses linked to their work at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Earlier in the ceremony various police fraternal groups placed wreaths in the lobby, where they will remain for about a week. The floral aroma made the halls seem like a nursery.

Toward the end of the ceremony, the names of the 43 were read aloud and the audience sang the hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”

“The names displayed here represent the best of us,” Caban said.

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