It was a solemn and touching funeral service for heroic first responder Christopher Cranston who died of a 9/11-related illness on July 20, at the age of 48.
The funeral mass took place July 25, at 11 a.m. at St. Christopher’s Roman Catholic Church, 130 Midland Ave. on Staten Island.
The retired NYPD detective lived in New Dorp, Staten Island, but was born, raised and spent his career serving in Brooklyn’s 60th and 62nd Precincts until he retired in 2013. Cranston worked for six months helping in the Ground Zero recovery efforts following the Sept. 11 attacks in Manhattan. He worked on the pile at the twin towers for months before helping sift through the ashes at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.
“I first met Chris 19 years ago when we were cops together, and was fortunate to later work with him in the detective bureau,” Captain Anthony Longobardi, commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct, told this paper.
“I learned a lot from Chris. He was a cop’s cop, adoring father and husband. He exemplified the very best in our profession. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. Please keep Chris, as well as the many other police officers and first responders who have become sick due to their brave and heroic service on 9/11, in your prayers,” Longobardi said.
The funeral mass included the reading of scripture from the Old Testament “Book of Wisdom” by Maureen Wertling, and a reading from the New Testament “Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy” by Al Fiore.
Megan Cranston, Kevin Crockett and Nyanna Sanchez performed “Ave Maria,” followed by a reading of the “Prayer of the Faithful” by Robert Flannery III. The eulogy was given by Emma Cranston.
Dozens of police vehicles lined the streets surrounding the church. Cranston’s fellow officers honored their fallen brother with a heartfelt rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
“Eighteen years ago I lost a good friend that perished in the World Trade Center,” Christopher Cranston’s brother Donald Cranston told this paper.
“But I never dreamed that 18 years later I would lose my baby brother to a 9/11-related illness. He was involved with the Little League and he was always involved with his church. He had a big heart and he was always available anytime, anywhere to help anyone in need.”
Cranston is survived by his wife Clare and their five children, Kristy, Emma, Andrew, Nick and Christopher Jr.