NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Friday marks five years since the murders of NYPD detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
The loss still runs deep for their widows, but they’re honoring their lives by giving to others.
Police officers were dancing handing out high fives and toys roughly 700 for every single child ages three and up attending Public School 65 in Cypress Hills.
“I looked at the kids laughing and having a great time with police officers and for like a few seconds I know that he was with us at that moment I felt his presence,” Maritza Ramos said.
Running the Detective Rafael Ramos Foundation is how Maritza Ramos copes with the loss of her husband.
On Dec. 20, 2014, he was assassinated while sitting in a patrol car in Bed-Stuy with Liu.
“It doesn’t feel like five years, but we’re just trying to get through… and this is how we’ve decided to make the best of a bad situation.”
Investigators said the murderer was motivated by hatred for police, after the police-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
For the last four years, the foundation has given out toys to a different school and backpacks in the neighborhood where Ramos was killed.
“I think that’s important at such a young age for them to see police officers in a positive light,” Ramos explained.
“That’s the best part, the look on their face of pure joy when they receive that gift,” Jose Falero, the vice president of the foundation said.
Falero, a fellow NYPD detective, was friends with Ramos and said he was studying to be a chaplain.
“All he did was serve and help. He was someone who prayed for people, served in church, a family man,” he said.
This isn’t the only foundation created in light of the tragedy.
This year, Sanny Liu, the widow of Detective Wenjian Liu created a foundation in his honor – raising money for therapy dogs to help law enforcement coping with tragedy.
She was inspired by the comfort she received from “Liu,” a dog named after her husband.
Sanny gave birth to a daughter, Angelina, in 2017 with the preserved sperm from Liu and says Angelina has fallen in love with the dog as well.
Two heroes, whose memories live on in the goodness of others.
For More Information About The Detective Wenjian Liu Foundation, Click Here
For More Information About The Detective Rafael Ramos Foundation Click Here