BY MORT BECKER
Rockland residents, elected officials and victims’ family members gathered at the Brinks Memorial in Nyack, NY this week for a somber, moving ceremony to remember the two Nyack police officers and the Brinks guard that were tragically murdered 34 years ago today.
The Brink’s armed robbery committed on October 20, 1981, was carried out by a gang of members of the Black Liberation Army and changed the history of Rockland County.
The assailants stole $1.6 million from a Brink’s armored car at the Nanuet Mall, in Nanuet, New York, killing two police officers, Edward O’Grady and Waverly Brown (the first African American member of the Nyack, New York police department) and a Brink’s guard, Peter Paige. The terrorist attack was one of the biggest national headline stories of that year.
At the annual ceremony this week, the Rockland Emerald Society Pipes & Drum Corps played “Amazing Grace,” and a wreath was placed at the memorial. The Clarkstown Police Honor Guard carried flags and provided a rifle salute. The Sheriff’s Mounted Unit was on hand as well.
Rockland Sheriff Lou Falco said, “The domestic terrorists were tried and convicted so that our society, our freedoms, and our constitution were protected. When we drive by here we tell our young officers and our families what happened here.”
Peter Paige’s son memorialized his father and the other men, expressing his heartfelt gratitude to everyone that gathered today to pay tribute to these three fallen heroes.
William A Morange, a retired chief for the New York Police Department delivered the keynote address. He spoke about the hard job of the police officers and those who serve to guard armored vehicles. He mentioned that in those days police shootings were frequent occurrences.
Among the dignitaries present were Rockland Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, County Executive Ed Day, District Attorney Thomas Zugibe, Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White, Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack, Councilmen George Hoehmann and Frank Borelli as well as Rockland Legislators Douglas Jobson, Jr. and Richard Diaz.