Thousands gathered Saturday to participate in the Chicago Police Memorial Foundations’ 10th Annual Run to Remember.
They come to support and remember the hundreds of police officers that have died or been severely injured in the line of duty and raise funds for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which provides financial support to the officers’ families.
Officer Cedric Brumley, who was paralyzed in a 2002 squad car accident, was the race’s honorary starter.
Brumley called himself “lucky” and said he’s grateful that he will see his children grow up.
“I’m sure any guy or gal not here any longer would trade my position any day,” he said. “It’s really about them.”
A team of supporters trekked out for undercover officer Michael Ceriale, who was killed in a drug deal that went horribly wrong in 1998.
Among his memorial team is his 29-year-old sister, Tiffany Walsh, who he was never able to meet.
“I was 13, mom told me to turn on the TV, and there was a picture of my brother. [My mother] said ‘That’s your brother,’” Walsh said. “I ended up going to the service and wake and that’s when I got to see my brother in person for the first time.”
Walsh wears her late brother’s badge as a good luck charm, and collects memories of him at the annual event.
“My brother might have known about me and he wanted to look for me, and him being a cop he could have found me pretty easily,” she said. “I get really mad. They should not take away people’s family, hopes, dreams. That was my life-long dream to meet my brother in person, not in a casket.”
Thousands of similar stories of tragedy, honor and remembrance flood from the families and friends supporting their loved ones in the race.
They say the event is held in their honor, and to ensure that they are never forgotten.