Police honor officers killed in line of duty

September 15, 2010 4:46:31 AM PDT
The Chicago Police Department honored officers killed in the line of duty and their families Tuesday night at a memorial and park dedicated to slain officers.

A new memorial was unveiled this year at the annual ceremony.

A Chicago police helicopter flew overhead Tuesday night at the memorial wall at the Gold Star Memorial Park as police unveiled the latest reminder of the dedication and sacrifice of fallen officers.

The statue commemorates officers who have been catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

Later, the names of the men and women who ended their watch prematurely were read by family members and added to the list.

"This is so important to me and to Thor's family and his parents, because it helps us feel like he'll always be remembered," said Officer Thor Soderberg's widow, Jennifer Loudon.

Soderberg was shot and killed with his own gun in a police facility parking lot on July 7th.

"It's not going to bring Tommie back, but just to know that all of the officers and all of the citizens of Chicago are here to support us and to honor the memory of all of the fallen officers really , really warms our hearts," said Carolyn Wortham, the mother of slain police officer Thomas Wortham IV.

Wortham was gunned down in his parents' South Side driveway on May 19 by a group of men trying to steal his motorcycle.

Police cadets held a picture of every single Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the department. The ceremony was the vision of former police superintendent Phil Cline

"Chicago has always been at the forefront in honoring its police heroes," said Cline. "Chicago is the home of the first law enforcement memorial ever erected in our nation's history."

"We cannot pay them or their families," said Mayor Richard Daley at the ceremony. "The only thing we can do for them is to never forget the sacrifice they made."

Candles were lit to symbolize the love that burns in the hearts and souls of the loved ones left behind to grieve their loss.

The city also paid tribute to fallen officers by lighting up the Chicago skyline in their honor.


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