Page 47 - October 2021
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   Lodge 7 President John Catanzara brought the FOP’s new food service trailer to distribute Chicago-style meals to first responders working the anniversary.
beef sandwiches with hot giardiniera, peppers and onions, was a hit.
“I just assumed everybody in the country ate hot beef sand- wiches, but they don’t,” O’Brien revealed. “A lot of them were like, ‘I’m coming back for another one, thank you for being here.’”
The beef sandwiches were a taste of home for some, like NYPD detectives originally from Chicago who hadn’t had the Italian beef unique to the city in years. And for others, like officers from the Jersey City Police Department, the signature sandwich was an unusual delight.
The Jersey City PD officers had met the Lodge 7 members be- fore, when they traveled to Chicago in August to attend the fu- neral for Officer Ella French. The FOP members reached out to the Jersey officers, like Officer Lauren Brazicki, who made their way to the trailer and helped to serve food to NYPD officers. They even brought New York pizza as a friendly exchange for the beef sandwiches.
“You’re sharing with each other parts of your cities that you’re prideful of,” Ortiz explained. “Sharing a little taste of Chicago, a little taste of New York. In a very bad time to remember for our country, it’s like a giant hug that we have to give to each other.”
Southwood echoed that sentiment, saying not only was it a rewarding experience to feed first responders, but also it con- firmed that the law enforcement brotherhood includes the whole country.
“It was very unifying to know that we could be that appreciat- ed by our brothers in law enforcement and first responders out there on such a historic day as 9/11,” Southwood added.
The event climaxed at the FDNY Ten House, directly across from the World Trade Center memorial. The firehouse includes a memorial with a collection of helmets, turnout gear, parts of a truck and a bent street sign from the 9/11 attacks.
“That really struck me,” Ortiz recalled. “We get a call, most people are running from it, and we run toward it. That’s what those firemen and policemen did, and they never came back home.”
To honor those who never made it back home, hundreds of people gathered outside the Ten House for a flag ceremony. A flag was raised for each of the 34 service members who died in the last two years.
Each flag was raised all the way up. Then halfway down. Then fully down. Then all the way back up. Then down again to take the flag off. In a neat intertwining of the universe, one of the hoisted flags was for French, thanks to Marine reservist Patrick McCauley. The flag was later presented to French’s mother, Eliz- abeth, at the Brotherhood for the Fallen Blue Tie Gala on Sept. 25.
“He asked if we could include Ella since she basically died in combat,” said CPD Chaplain Father Dan Brandt, who had the opportunity to experience the ceremony from the roof. “They said, ‘Absolutely, yes. We’ll hoist a flag for her and send that with you back to Chicago.’”
The flag ceremony was Brandt’s favorite part of the 9/11 an- niversary, but not because he had to stand for hours in his black
 The view from below during the flag ceremony at the FDNY Ten House, which honored service members who were killed in the last two years, in- cluding fallen CPD Officer Ella French.

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