CHICAGO (WLS) --Hundreds gathered at the Police Memorial near Soldier Field Thursday afternoon for a solemn service to honor fallen police officers in Chicago and across the country. The tribute comes after what was a tragic end to the year for the police department in New York.
Police departments across the country remain on high alert because of ongoing threat against officers. In Chicago Thursday, the event remembered the two New York City officers ambushed and killed. The service started at the exact minute those officers were shot.
It began with the National Anthem and continued with a prayer service, a show of solidarity and a tribute to two fallen New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. It is also a reminder to those still serving.
"Always remember this, you are doing God's work," said Father Dan Brandt, Chicago Police Department Chaplain.
Hundreds gathered Thursday afternoon at the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park along the lakefront. There was a fly-over, bagpipe music and a roll call, reading a list of 118 names of officers across the country who died in the line of duty in 2014.
Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich showed his support, reading several names too.
There is also hope. Hope that the New Year will be better for everyone.
"This a brand New Year. If we could hopefully start this New Year off on the right foot, and we're not just here commemorating our officers (Thursday), but the fallen officers all across the country," said 1st Deputy Supt. Al Wysinger, Chicago Police Department.
"More often than not, people in some of the toughest of neighborhoods, there's some good people and they respect and admire and are grateful for the police and for the service they provide," Father Brandt said.
There were calls for a new start in the New Year, especially with ongoing threats, even shots fired, at officers in New York City, Houston, and Thursday morning, San Francisco.