CHICAGO (WLS) -- About 5,000 people walked near Soldier Field to honor the life of Ella French and other Chicago police officers who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.
Loved ones of fallen officers and supporters of Chicago police walked and ran with a purpose Sunday. The 17th Annual Run to Remember returned for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're here today to remember the sacrifices that police officers make," said Robert Gordon, 25-year police veteran for the City of Berwyn.
Gordon runs for his fallen brother.
"It was 17 years ago, I buried my brother, Chicago Police Officer Michael Gordon. He was killed in a horrific car crash in the 11th District."
Gordon and his team also honored a fallen officer from Berwyn, Chuck Schauer.
The run brings in donations every year, providing more than $15 million to families of fallen and seriously injured police officers since 2006.
Laura Mathews knows first-hand how important that is.
"My husband was killed in the line of duty," Mathews said.
Mathews' husband, John Mathews, was killed in 1988. She comes back every year to honor him and support other families just like hers who have lost a loved one. Mathews said the event brings valuable programs and college scholarships to those families.
"It's wonderful to see the support. I wish they got more support than they get," Mathews said.
The event holds a little more weight this year as one Chicago police officer continues to fight for his life in the hospital.
Carlos Yanez Jr. was one of two officers shot during a traffic stop in West Englewood earlier this month. His partner, Ella French, died from her injuries.
"It makes you feel respected. It makes you feel that you're out doing something, and people understand that you're out there putting your life on the line," Gordon said.