Page 44 - November 2021
P. 44

 From left, Lodge 7 Trustee David DiSanti, Trustee and Field Rep Monica Ortiz, FOP Executive Assis- tant Kathy Spiewak, FOP Attorney Pat Fioretto and Lodge 7 Third Vice President Fernando Flores at the Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14 during Police Week.
Family members of the fallen, clockwise from left, including Ella French’s mother, Elizabeth, Chicago Police Officer Clifford Martin Jr., Chicago Police Officer Salvatore DiFranco and Caneshia Newman, place roses by the names of their loved ones at the Lodge 7 Memorial.
fallen officers Marco DiFranco, Clifford Martin, Ronald Newman, Titus Moore, Frank McGraw, Charles Hibsch and Ella French.
“They were making fun of each oth- er,” said CPD Officer Salvatore DiFranco, Marco’s brother. “It’s always funny how they do that.”
The Lodge 7 Memorial, usually held in May, was postponed five months to co- incide with National Police Week. People from across the city and state attended the memorial, which unveiled the seven fallen officers’ names inscribed on the wall at the FOP. Notable speakers at the memorial, including Lodge 7 President John Catanzara, Illinois FOP President Chris Southwood and Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Executive Direc- tor Philip Cline, paid respects to the sur- viving family members.
“It was nice how they brought the names of these fallen officers back to life,” DiFranco noted.
The ceremony included a presenta- tion of the city, state and national flags by the Honor Guard, complete with the national anthem performed by 1st Dis- trict Officer Arturo Andonaegui, one of two CPD vocalists.
Andonaegui prepared for the event several days in advance. He made sure that his two minutes at the podium to sing the national anthem would invoke the somber and solemn energy of the memorial.
“You never know how your sound will affect someone,” Andonaegui shared. “That’s why it’s so essential to try to be your best at all times.”
Attendees gathered in the FOP court- yard, where a wreath with white flowers and a blue star hung above a sign with the names of the fallen officers being honored — an honor amplified by the absolute silence.
“It was a shared moment of sadness, of focused respect,” Andonaegui described. “The silence was an indication that ev- eryone was present and sharing that to- gether.”
Family members, including French’s mother, Elizabeth, and Martin’s children, Clifford Jr. and Shannon, who are both Chicago Police Officers, approached the wall to place a single white rose by the names of their fallen loved ones.
After the unveiling of the names, fam- ily members shared memories of their loved ones. The memorial provided an outlet to heal for surviving family mem- bers, some of whom were unable to hold funerals due to COVID restrictions.
“I personally got to speak to some of the fallen officers and families,” said Da-
to pay their respects to the fallen officers, as COVID had prevented family mem- bers from the full memorial service.
The experience was heightened by a multitude of tear-filled and unforgetta- ble moments, including placing roses at the Lodge 7 Memorial, participating in the single flame lighting thousands of candles at the Candlelight Vigil and pay- ing respects at the National Law Enforce-
ment Officers Memorial, where names of officers lost in the line of duty are in- scribed.
Honoring loved ones
at the Lodge 7 Memorial
Chicago Police chaplains Father Dan Brandt and Rabbi Moshe Wolf started the Lodge 7 Memorial at FOP headquarters with their own special banter that always gives way to their own special reverence. Their remarks began a moving tribute to
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