In the week since the murders of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, people from New York and across the United States have been working to make sure that the NYPD officers’ families are taken of financially.
On the day after the shooting, George Steinbrenner’s Yankees Silver Shield Foundation announced it would cover the schooling of Ramos’s sons, 13-year-old Jaden and his older brother, Justin, who is a sophomore at Bowdoin College. (The organization, started by the Yankees’ late owner 32 years ago, has pledged to pay for the educations of all kids whose NYPD, FDNY, and Port Authority parents are killed in the line of duty.) However, a Bowdoin spokesperson quickly said Silver Shield wouldn’t need to contribute anything on Justin’s behalf, as the school plans to provide him with full financial aid for the rest of his time there. Bowdoin also started a separate fund to benefit the Ramos family.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which is named after a firefighter who was killed on September 11, wants to pay off the mortgages on Ramos’s and Liu’s homes. By Christmas, the charity had raised $70,000 of its $800,000 goal, with Rudy Giuliani and the Brooklyn Nets reportedly contributing $20,000 and $10,000, respectively. Meanwhile, hundreds of New York Daily News readers have donated a combined $90,000 to a cash-drive set up by the paper, which promised that “every dollar” will go to Ramos’s wife, Maritza, their sons, and Liu’s widow, Pei Xia Chen.
On Saturday, JetBlue gave free flights to around 670 police officers from outside New York so they could attend Ramos’s Queens funeral. An airline spokesperson said the company is asking other airlines to help Liu’s relatives fly for free from China to New York for his funeral, which won’t happen until his family members can get here.