ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Local officers who were killed in the line of duty were recognized Wednesday evening.
The Northern Illinois Police Memorial Week Committee held its “Law Enforcement Memorial” for the 42nd year. One family said that their loss still affects them to this day. It showed the sacrifices these men and women make to protect the community.
“My father is Michael Mayborne, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, was killed in 1974 by a bank robber, Ted Bacino,” said Jennifer Mayborne.
Mayborne and her husband Gordon Nygren bonded over tragic events in their lives. Both have family members who died in the line of duty. The two did not know this about each other at the time, but said that they have helped each other cope since.
“My grandfather who is passed, that was the only time my mom has ever seen him cry, and so it comes back to me, and until I met my wife, now we both get flowers,” Nygren said.
The couple attended a ceremony for officers killed on the job Wednesday night. Lisa Hodges is a detective with the Rockford Park District and is also a member of the Northern Illinois Honor Guard. She said that having the public show up gave much needed support to the grieving families.
“I think it’s a way to express to the family that their hero is never going to be forgotten,” Hodges said. “I think it’s important that we have these types of things, so the family knows that those lives were valued to us, and just a reminder of how much they meant to us.”
Nygren and Mayborne added that even after their loved one is gone, the hurt never goes away.
“It doesn’t matter how long ago, whether you met or not, it’s still a very powerful, impactful experience that you go through and it stays with you for a lifetime,” Mayborne said.
There are other events planned for the rest of the week.