An event honoring fallen law enforcement officers became even more personal for the family and partner of a New York City police officer killed in the line of duty last year.
As The Daily Caller reported, President Donald Trump led the 37th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Tuesday, at one point calling Miosotis Familia’s partner, officer Vincent Maher, and several of her surviving relatives to join him on stage.
In a Fox News Channel interview the following day, Maher shared some of the private conversation he had with Trump.
“He just commented about what an amazing person she was,” the officer said. “He thanked me for my service and gave me an ‘attaboy.’ It was kind of cool.”
He said the invitation to stand alongside the president during part of the service was “very unexpected,” a sentiment shared by Familia’s children.
Another surprise came when Trump invited Maher to say a few words during the ceremony at the U.S. Capitol building.
The officer said his partner “may have been lost that night, but she saved a lot of lives in turn because of her memory and everything that transpired after the fact.”
Familia was ambushed and fatally shot in July by a gunman officials say harbored anti-police views.
Following Tuesday’s service, Maher described it as evidence that this administration is a friend to police.
“I definitely feel the love from the higher ups these days as far as supporting law enforcement all over the country and it is nice to have it come from the top,” he said.
Familia’s children also expressed gratitude, explaining that the presidential recognition of their mother’s bravery was a meaningful gesture.
During his remarks, Trump made multiple references to the fallen officer’s bravery and the respect she received from colleagues and others in the community.
“She loved the department,” he said. “She loved being a police officer. She was respected by everybody.”
Trump told Familia’s children that their mother was “looking down and she’s so proud of you.”
In an interview after the ceremony, Familia’s eldest daughter, Genesis Villella, and 13-year-old twins, Peter and Delilah Vega, shared their own thoughts about their mother’s sacrificial service.
President Trump went off-script at the National Peace Officers' Memorial and called for a fallen NYPD officer's family to join him on stage.
— New Day (@NewDay) May 16, 2018
“It was a big sacrifice,” Villella said. “She loved that job. She loved helping others.”
The risks associated with a career in law enforcement were not lost on Familia’s family.
“I would worry about her every time she walked out the door,” Villella said.
Peter Vega similarly described his mother as selfless and dedicated to helping others, adding that he is glad the world was able to hear her story directly from the president.
“My mother was really brave and it being highlighted is pretty nice, because as a cop you have to meet those standards of bravery and you have to have the heart to protect the city,” he said.
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