GREENLAWN, N.Y. - Life for Irene Tsakos will never be the same. Her husband and the father of her two young children, Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos, was tragically ripped from their lives, too soon.
"I wish we had more time to watch our kids grow, see them off to college, and get married," Tsakos said at the church service. "I wish we could grow old together. That was the plan."
Anastasios, or Taso as he was lovingly called, was laid to rest Tuesday on Long Island, gray skies adding to the somber day.
"Our kids will grow up without their dad. I will make sure they know who he is," Irene said. "Every day they will see his face and learn about all the wonderful things he did and what a hero he was."
"He was a very intelligent and hard-working man, the envy of his peers, the American dream, an example of our nation's great diversity," Commissioner Dermot Shea said at the service. "Also an example of an extraordinary call to service."
Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke at the funeral.
"It does not make sense that such a good man in every way can be gone," de Blasio said. "The family is mourning, the NYPD is mourning, the city is mourning.
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The 14-year veteran of the NYPD was killed in the line of duty when an alleged drunken driver struck him on the Long Island Expressway in Queens last week. The suspected driver, a woman from Hempstead, has been arrested.
Tsakos is remembered for being a dedicated husband and father, a brave police officer, an active member of his Greek American community, a friend and a helper to all, a pilot, an avid motorcycle rider, a man who made people laugh and who always saw the bright side of any situation.
"Whether at work or anywhere else, you knew Taso would be the first to help," Irene said. "He cared about people. Truly cared."
While his family and loved ones find this loss senseless and unimaginable, they know an angel is now watching over them.