Hundreds Of Officers Attend Funeral For WWII Veteran With No Family

“Once you’re NYPD we’ll never forget you.”

A veteran received the send-off he deserved thanks to some colleagues who cared. 

William Brown, a World War II veteran as well as a former detective for the NYPD, died alone in late May, with no next of kin, the New York Daily News reported. Though the 95-year-old didn't have close friends or family, the officers from the 113th precinct were determined to honor him.

So they held a funeral for Brown this past Thursday in New York City.

“Once you’re NYPD, we’ll never forget you,” Detective Doreen Ferguson said, according to CBS New York.

Hundreds of past and present NYPD officers were in attendance at the funeral for Brown, who had been a member of 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters. Afterwards, police officers and firefighters gave the man one final salute, NBC New York noted.

Those from the 113th precinct first encountered Brown last winter after a neighbor hadn't seen the man for a few days and grew concerned, the outlet reported. The neighbor asked cops to check on Brown and that's when the 113th precinct came in.

The officers discovered the apartment empty and learned that Brown was in the hospital, being treated for hypothermia. They also found out a few things about his personal life, including the fact that he had been a member of the force decades ago. 

From then on, a relationship formed between the precinct's officers and Brown. 

“His personal life wasn’t really in order. They helped him with his benefits, and got him properly registered with the VA. They helped him get to doctor’s appointments,” Deputy Inspector Frederick Grover explained of the precinct, according to the Daily News. 

Detective Tanya Duhaney, visited him almost every Sunday. But one day she couldn't contact him. 

“I said let me call -- couldn’t reach him Sunday, couldn’t reach him Monday. On my birthday actually, May 17, I asked my partner to go visit him, and Detective Ferguson found him,” Duhaney said, according to CBS New York. “I cried, I definitely cried. It actually laid on my heart.”

Knowing that Brown didn't have any next of kin, the precinct stepped in as his family and made appropriate arrangements. The NYPD even shared the man's story on social media calling on people to attend the funeral. 

"Mr. Brown passed away alone, but he doesn’t have to make his final journey alone," the Facebook post read. 

Judging by the turnout, the 95-year-old will be remembered for a long time -- especially by his friends at the 113th precinct. 

“I loved him and I’m really going to miss him,” Duhaney said, according to CBS New York.

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