ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Law enforcement from across the region gather to remember their own. It’s part of “National Police Memorial Week.”
At First Free Church in Rockford, officers who made the ultimate sacrifice are remembered. Alexis Carpello was on hand for the service.
Although officers don’t want to attend events like these, they say it’s important to keep the memory of those fallen officers alive for generations to come.
“It’s my way to say thank you to them, and the loss of the officers it’s our way for individual departments to remember the fallen officers,” said Lt. Daniel Watton, President & Commander, Northern Illinois Multi-Jurisdictional Honor Guard.
Trooper Brooke Jones Story, Deputy Jacob Keltner, and K9 Officer Loki were among 35 officers who were recognized at Wednesday’s memorial.
“I personally knew Brooke, and I actually went to the scene, and I assisted with her funeral services there, so it is very emotional,” said Lt. Watton.
The somber event served as an attempt to bring comfort to family members and colleagues.
“I took this on approximately 15-years-ago and the reason why I did was having knowledge of the surviving family members that are here with us today,” added. Lt. Watton.
“We do it so not only the families have some place to go to have a remembrance of their loved ones, but the community also has some place to go so they can honor the law enforcement officers who actually paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Songs, readings, even the former Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief during the Boston Marathon bombing, Daniel Linskey, expressed his sympathies to the families.
“No one does, what they do except us. We stand in harm’s way, so others do not have to,” said Linskey. “Never forget what every cop in America goes through, and every family member of a cop in America goes through when they put on a badge.”
Police Memorial Week runs through Saturday. The Rockford Police Department is hosting more events for the community.