The Brookfield Zoo hosted an event on Thursday celebrating the life of Thor Soderberg, a Chicago police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty a year ago.
"Officer Soderberg was about connecting kids with wildlife and nature again, and giving them things from inner city out to forest preserve districts and other areas of nature where they wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to go," said Brookfield Zoo president and CEO Stuart Strahl, who was happy to host the event for Soderberg's close friends and family.
Soderberg's widow, Jennifer Loudon, spoke of his love for nature at the event and how she hopes to create a foundation in his memory and based on the legacy of his life's work.
Just days before Soderberg's death, he had talked to his wife about connecting inner city kids with the outdoors.
"I know he would be happy that it is a celebration and that it’s focused on everything he cared about in life and everything he wanted to do to make an impact on the world," said Loudon.
Attendees were given white oak tree saplings to plant in his honor.
Officer Soderberg was gunned down on July 7, 2010 while leaving work at the Chicago Police Department's training facility in Englewood.