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New York police officers overwhelmed by Texas hospitality

A New York police officer says Dallas locals "gave [him] the strength to carry on during this somber dark time." 

<p>Officer Donato and NYPD at the Dallas Police Department. </p>

Officers throughout the nation are coming together to lift their spirits after the tragedy that happened in Dallas last week.

Officer Donato, from street crime unit of the NYPD's 46th Precinct, recently reached out to News 8 to share his story.

“Our way of life was attacked with the loss of those police officers,” said Donato.

Donato and other New York police officers came to Dallas to honor the loss of their fallen brothers after five members of law enforcement were gunned down July 7 in downtown Dallas. Donato said that officers throughout the nation felt emotionally and physically ill after learning of the officers' deaths.

Brotherhood is a common bond throughout the nation's law enforcement, he said.

"We all leave our family and friends in the same manner knowing we might not return home," said Donato. "That common bond we share makes us feel like family.”

Donato posted this on his Facebook wall:

From the shooting in Orlando.... To the horrific murder of the 5 brothers in Dallas TX, it made me question many of the things in my life and made it difficult for a couple of weeks to smile like I have. Coming to Texas changed that....

During their stay in Dallas, the New York officers went to dinner at a steakhouse to eat as a family and celebrate the memory of their fallen brothers.

People at the restaurant came to their table to take pictures, give thanks and share their condolences.

When the officers picked up their tab, they were overwhelmed by Texas hospitality. Each table at the restaurant had tried to cover the officer’s tabs, the Bronx officer told News 8.

“Honestly, when we learned people in the restaurant (each table) attempted to pay every portion of our tab my eyes started to water,” said Donato.

Donato said that he appreciates everything this state has shown him as a visitor over the past couple of days.

He said their stay in Dallas “Gave us the strength to go back… and to carry out our duties with courtesy professionalism and respect for all lives.”

“It made a world of a difference in my eyes and the eyes of my co-workers,” said Donato.

Video of Donato expressing his gratitude to the people at the Dallas steakhouse can be seen below or here.