Irene Tsakos, the wife of fallen NYPD police officer Anastasios Tsakos, delivered a powerful tribute at her late husband’s funeral on Tuesday.
“I will miss everything about him. Everything. Most of all, I will miss his hugs,” Irene Tsakos said as she stood alongside Officer Tsakos’ open casket.
Officer Tsakos, 43, was on the Long Island Expressway in Queens directing traffic away before 2 AM last Tuesday when he was fatally struck by a drunk driver. The suspect, Jessica Beauvais, a 32-year old from Hempstead, NY, now faces a total of thirteen criminal charges.
Tsakos described her late husband as a phenomenal father to their 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son, and she lamented that they would not get to see their children grow up together. She recounted how his dream was to win the lottery so that he could become a pilot and fly his family around the world.
“I wish we had more time to watch our kids grow. See them off to college. I wish we could grow together. That was the plan. But he was taken from us too soon,” his wife continued. “Tasso you are the love of my life. I hope I made you proud. Lord, you have my angel now. Please hold him dear. And watch over us. I love you always and forever. Until you hold me in your arms again, my love.”
Hundreds pay their respects to Officer Anastasios Tsakos
Family and friends gathered at Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church on Long Island to pay their final respects to a man who they said led a life of selflessness in service to his community.
Only a day before, a wake was held for Officer Tsakos that drew hundreds of NYPD officers who lined Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, Queens for the start of a procession, carrying the casket to the church in Greenlawn, Long Island.
Along the way, firefighters stood at attention and displayed the American flag on highway overpasses to pay tribute to the 14-year veteran of the NYPD.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and retired US Congressman Peter King were among those in attendance to pay their own tributes to Officer Tsakos.
The church limited indoor attendance of the ceremony to 180 people, but hundreds of officers and members of the community gathered outside to show their support for Tsakos’ wife and children.
Mourners sang and prayed for the fallen police officer as tributes to his dedication and service to the community poured in.
“It does not make sense how someone could live his life right in every way and be taken from us so horribly,” Mayor de Blasio said at the service. “Some people are true heroes. Some people are there for others. And that in every way was Anastasios Tsakos.”
Shea praised Officer Tsakos as a “great cop” who set a standard for his peers in the NYPD. For that, Shea posthumously promoted him to the rank of Detective First Grade for his exemplary service.
“Taso was, from beginning to end, a very intelligent and hardworking man. He was the envy of his peers. He was really a perfect picture of the American dream. An example of our nation’s great diversity,” Shea said, using Officer Tsakos’ nickname.
Tsakos was originally born in Greece and served in the Greek army before moving to the United States, where he worked at his father’s diner in Long Island.
The Saint Paul’s Society, a fraternal organization within the NYPD that counted Tsakos as a member, offered its respects as well.
“May our brother, PO Anastasios Tsakos’ memory be eternal. Please keep him in your prayers,” the society posted on its Twitter account on Tuesday.
Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos Funeral Service https://t.co/yNGJBu68GD
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 4, 2021