Injured, Slain Police Officers Honored

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 PM CDT
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The names of 550 fallen officers were read in a ceremony honoring the men and women who gave their lives in the line of duty.

The names of 550 fallen officers were read in a ceremony honoring the men and women who gave their lives in the line of duty.

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Hundreds of officers and their families gathered Tuesday evening on the Soldier Field complex to commemorate injured and fallen police officers.

A statue of bronze, depicting a uniformed officer seated in a wheelchair flanked by his wife, a child and partner, was unveiled near the Memorial Wall in Gold Star Memorial Park.  It's the first of its kind in Chicago to pay tribute to officers who have suffered permanent, debilitating injuries while on duty.

"You've been heroes to everybody," Police Supt. Jody Weis said prior to the unveiling.  "You should know you always have the strength of the department to fall upon.  We will always be here for you."

Afterward, the names of 550 officers who gave their lives were read aloud by those who knew them during a moving tribute.  Hundreds of people held glow sticks, creating a field of blue beneath the dark Chicago sky.

Four officers have been killed since last  year's Gold Star Vigil:  Alan Haymaker, Thomas Wortham IV, Thor Soderberg and Michael Bailey.

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