Published: Sat, January 14, 2017
Local | By Adrian Hale

Thousands attend funeral for NYPD Detective McDonald in Manhattan

Thousands attend funeral for NYPD Detective McDonald in Manhattan

But on that day at Bellevue, McDonald had already managed to communicate a message to his wife, Patti Ann, who read McDonald's words: "I forgive him and hope that he can find peace and objective in his life".

The beloved detective will be honored at a 9:30 a.m. funeral at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

He died on Tuesday afternoon at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset where he was admitted on Friday after suffering a heart attack.

Graves said winning the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, which he did five times, was one of the great honors of his career. Later, McDonald journeyed to the Middle East, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, preaching the need for forgiveness between enemies.

The cardinal told Catholic New York, newspaper of the New York Archdiocese, that he had visited McDonald in the hospital's intensive care unit and said that the many rosaries and religious statues there represented outward signs of a Catholic faith the detective dearly practiced. "I was proud to call him my friend".

The daylong event began with a rosary led by Detective McDonald and his wife, who plans to continue her participation with the walk.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio his wife Chirlane Mc Cray NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill and former Police Commissioner William Bratton stand at attention during the funeral service for
Thousands attend funeral for NYPD Detective McDonald in Manhattan

In a eulogy that was cheered by officers, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said McDonald "redefined what a hero is".

"He was synonymous with all that is great about our police department and city", Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the funeral. Copies of Johann Christoph Arnold's Why Forgive, which included a forward by Detective McDonald, were offered to each visitor at his wake.

And he did it without the young man asking, or doing anything to atone for the mindless, horrific act that grew out of Police Officer McDonald questioning the boy and two companions about a stolen bicycle.

A year after announcing he forgave Jones, McDonald sent him stamps and a box of stationary with another message to "carry on a dialogue".

As much as he will be missed by those who loved him most, they can take comfort that his spirit will live on. Four days after he was paroled, he died of head injuries sustained in a motorbike accident in his old East Harlem neighborhood. Glen Sather, Jeff Gorton, Mark Messier and Adam Graves are among those at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Then, as a lone piper played fantastic grace, the coffin was carried inside.

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