15 Hour Rockford Vigil for Dallas Ends

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The local community pays homage to the five Dallas police officers shot and killed last week.

Rockford Police and Fire hosted a 15 hour vigil that started Thursday night.

“It’s to show our gratitude toward the men and women who put themselves on the line everyday,” said Rockford Police Deputy Chief David Hopkins.  “Unfortunately, some don’t make it home at night.”

“It means the world to me,” Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.  “The officers that died gave the ultimate sacrifice, while they’re doing their job.  If you listen to the stories down there – they’re lying on top of people, protecting them from gunfire.  So, it’s heartbreaking to be a part of it.”

Those who attended the vigil used it as a way to step back, reflect, and heal.

“They’re human beings, they have families,” said Chaplain Lou Ness.  “They do mundane, ordinary things in their lives and their greatest wish is to go home at the end of their shift.”

“They risk their life for an ordinary citizen like me,” said resident Donnie Wilson.

Residents and officers alike stressed the importance of cohesiveness within the community.

“Talk to each other,” said Ness.  “We had conversations here.  Police officers live in your neighborhoods.  Go meet their family.  When a single citizen comes up and talks to me and says how much they appreciate what I do, it’s very humbling.  It’s something I don’t think an officer thinks about every day.  They just go about their normal job just like anybody else.”

A guest book with messages from the Stateline will be delivered to the Dallas Police Department.

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