You’ve likely heard the sad story of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, the two NYPD officers brutally killed in Brooklyn Saturday. The man responsible for their death, a coward who doesn’t deserve to have his name printed, later shot himself in the subway, leaving hundreds of people scarred for life. Everything about this story is just awful—the senseless violence, the eye-for-an-eye justification, the assassination of two men—it’s the worst.
But there’s one good story, one good thing that’s come out of this thanks to the New York Yankees. Three decades ago, George Steinbrenner created the Silver Shield Foundation, a group that pays for the education of children of New York City police officers, firemen, and Port Authority employees who have died in the line of duty. That foundation has stepped forward and will pay for the education of Ramos’ two sons, one of whom is already in college.
(Wenjian Liu was married with no children.)
Steinbrenner started his foundation in 1982 after seeing a news account of four children flanking their mother and folding an American flag at the funeral of their father, an NYPD officer who had been killed in the line of duty.
“Who’s going to take care of these kids,” Steinbrenner asked his friend, former Olympian Jim Fuchs, who would run the foundation until his death, also in 2010. “We are.”
According to the New York Daily News, the foundation paid for the education of 700 children who lost parents on 9/11. Wow.
I’m not a Yankees fan, not by any stretch, but today I tip my cap to them—and I tip my cap to the late George Steinbrenner, a misunderstood and often grouchy old man with a big heart.