The Daily News
Noble Nassau County officer, who died of 9/11-related cancer, honored at Queens funeral
It took almost 16 years for the time bomb inside Luis Palermo Jr. to kill him.
The heroic Nassau County cop, a victim of 9/11-related cancer contracted at Ground Zero, was celebrated for his selflessness at a Saturday funeral just two days before the latest anniversary of the 2001 attack.
“He was a highly respected cop and beloved by his fellow officers,” said police Deputy Inspector Gregory Abruzzo at a jam-packed Queens funeral.
“Lou was very modest when talking about his work, but just the opposite when it came to talking about his family.
A crowd of friends, family and blue-clad colleagues gathered outside the Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale to honor the well-respected officer.
Palermo, 50, fell ill about five years ago — more than a decade after he came to Lower Manhattan and worked on the toxic pile of rubble left by the collapsed Twin Towers.
His cousin Tiffany Mays read a self-penned poem during her remembrance of Palermo, a 23-year police veteran.
“Not everyone can be a hero,” she said. “But I’ll try my best to be my best at everything I do.”
She then offered a Biblical verse.
“Greater love has no one than this: To lay down his life for one’s friends.”
Police bagpipers played as cops lined up on either side of the church, forming an honor guard as Palermo’s casket was brought inside the church.
Rev. Michael Durso led the audience in the Lord’s Prayer as an American flag waved on a video screen behind him.
The late officer’s brother-in-law Eric Cintron said Palermo’s death proved that the good really do die too young.
“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long,” Cintron said. “And you burned very bright. But I read that again and it’s true except for one thing: It didn't burn half as long. This light will never fade, and it continues through his legacy.”
Palermo was not alone among delayed 9/11 victims as the 16th anniversary loomed Monday.
NYPD Officer Diane Halbran, 60, and New York State police auto mechanic Christopher Hobart both died in recent days from 9/11-related cancer, authorities said.
Authorities say 159 FDNY personnel and 132 NYPD members have died from 9/11-linked illnesses.
With Thomas Tracy