A number of Greek-American businessmen and community organisations have proposed to rename the corner of 42nd Street with 23rd Avenue in Astoria as ‘Anastasios Tsakos Way’.
Anastasios Tsakos, a 14-year veteran of the police department, was fatally struck on April 27 by Jessica Beauvais, while diverting traffic from a previous fatal crash on the Long Island Expressway in Queens.
“I thought of this particular corner because that was where his family home was, where Tasos lived and grew up. I knew him for a long time, since he was in Astoria. He was a young man with a golden heart, always with a smile, laughter and puns, always with the willingness to help others,” Greek-American Constantinos Prentzas told The National Herald.
The necessary number of signatures were collected from the public and the request was submitted. It will now be put up for discussion in the Community Council, in order to then be sent as a decision to the New York City Council.
“I think the issue is typical and they will not deny it. The necessary signatures have been collected and the application is ready. The next meeting of the Community Council is in the second or third week of June. Then it will be voted on,” the businessman added.
Moreover, it has been suggested to make April 27 “Anastasios Tsakos Day,” so he will always be remembered for his dedication to duty, until the last moment. The proposal will be submitted soon through a resolution to the New York City Council.
“I am in contact with and informing Tasos’ brother, Lefteris. During the week, I will also visit his wife, Irene, together with Fr. George Anastasiou, who is a police chaplain, in order to officially inform her as well,” concluded Prentzas.
“It does not make sense how someone could live his life right in every way and be taken from us so horribly, but his heroism uplifts us,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told mourners at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church.
“Some people are true heroes. Some people are there for others. And that in every way was Anastasios Tsakos.”
His funeral which was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, was limited to 180 attendees due to the pandemic.
Dozens more gathered outside the church with the streets around the area a sea of blue as fellow police officers and community members paid their respects to the fallen officer.
Tsakos, raised in Greece and New York City, served in the Greek army after high school, worked in his father’s diner on Long Island, studied aviation in college and dreamed of flying helicopters for the NYPD, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
The police commissioner also posthumously promoted Tsakos to detective first grade and presented a gold detective shield to his wife, Irene.