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NYPD LOGO                         REQUIEM                         NYPD LOGO

   It doesn't matter which badge they wear: NYPD, Transit Police, Housing Police.  They take an oath to protect the public, and then they go out into the streets and the subways and the housing projects and fulfill it.  And put their lives on the line.  Every day.  And the list of those who lose their lives grows even longer.

   Add one more name to the list.  Anthony McLean, Age 27.  A member of the Housing Police.  A cop who was just doing his job.  Searching for a little girl who had been reported missing.  In the course of that search, Officer McLean surprised a group of young men in a stairwell.  The suspicion is they were dealing drugs.  They didn't know what McLean was doing there. They didn't care.  They saw a badge, a uniform, a gun.  And one of them pulled a gun and fired.  The bullet hit McLean an inch above his bulletproof vest.  And now McLean's family and McLean's fiancÚ, who had been awaiting a wedding in May, are awaiting a funeral.


   I'll be a hero's funeral.  With the flags lowered and the drums muffled and the long ranks of men and women in blue saluting yet another coffin.  And wondering who they will be saluting the next time.  Or if, the next time, someone will be saluting them.  Tragically, there will be a next time.  In this drug-ridden city, crime-ridden city, it's inevitable.

   Remember that, New York.  Remember Anthony McLean.   And all the other cops out there, who risk their lives every time they pin on a badge.  Who risk their lives for you.

Note:  Requiem originally appeared in the editorial page of the New York Daily News on April 15, 1988.