Page 45 - November 2021
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vid DiSanti, a Lodge 7 trustee. “I spoke to Clifford Martin’s family and they shared some funny stories about him.”
Speaking to the surviving family mem- bers made the magnitude of the event sink in. Andonaegui said those conversa- tions served as a humbling reminder of the fallen officers’ ultimate sacrifice.
“You can approach [the family] and share a moment with them,” Andonae- gui confided. “That makes it even more real. These names belong to a family. You leave feeling like that could’ve been you.”
Seeing the light at the Candlelight Vigil
Chiquita Newman struggled with un- derstanding why her husband was tak- en. Then, at the Candlelight Vigil at the National Mall on Oct. 14, she listened as all 701 officers’ names were added to the Memorial Wall.
“That was the hardest part ever,” Chiq- uita recalled. “Where you have three hours of hearing how, I mean, some of- ficers were killed wrong. So by the time the Candlelight came, I was messed up.”
As excruciating as it was to hear not only the sheer number of fallen officers, Chiquita received closure on her hus- band’s death.
“I would always ask God, ‘Why my hus- band?’” Chiquita explained. “But he took my husband in a way that I can handle. Listening to how many times [some] of- ficers were shot, stabbed and everything helped me to understand that God knew what I can handle.”
Candles were given to everyone who attended the vigil. A candle lit on stage served as the flame that started a relay of igniting tens of thousands of candles. And then all the candles were raised in unison.
“Words can’t express the feeling when you start seeing the wave of light,” said Chicago Police Officer Jim Calvino. “It’s a spectacle to see.”
While Calvino and Monica Ortiz, a Lodge 7 trustee and field rep, have seen the vigil several times, the experience was new to DiSanti and Salvatore. DiSan- ti said the solemn event made him reflect on those who made the ultimate sacri- fice.
“You almost have to paint a picture,” DiSanti relayed. “You’re on the lawn in Washington, D.C. The sun’s setting over the monument, and they’re reading the names of these officers. It was very emo- tional for me.”
As the candles were lit one by one, they provided a true symbol of honoring fallen officers from 2019 and 2020. Salva- tore, who attended Police Week with his mother, Santa, wife, Kimberly, and three children, took a moment to remember
Retired community policing civilian officer Chiquita Newman, escorted by the Honor Guard, arrived at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport during Police Week to hon- or her husband, Ronald, a fallen officer who worked in the 4th District.
Officer Arturo Andonaegui, one of two CPD vo- calists, performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Lodge 7 Memorial on Oct. 6.
   Lodge 7 Trustee David DiSanti spent time etching fallen officers’ names from the wall at the Nation- al Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Marco, as well as the other 700 fallen of- ficers.
“It was probably one of the most amazing ways to honor all these fallen officers from all over the country,” Sal- vatore confessed. “It was very touching. Having all those people together holding up a candle, that was amazing.”
At peace at the Peace Officers Memorial Service
Chicago Police Officers always stand in the same place at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The “Chi- cago Tree” marks their spot on the walk- way as Gold Star families pass through to their seats.
As Gold Star family members entered, they saw the CPD first. Whether from the City or not, the families made sure to
thank Chicago Police Officers for once again honoring the fallen the way they have every year.
“Thank you, Chicago police,” Ortiz said she heard repeatedly. “They did voice that they were there for a family member, but they appreciated the CPD being there when they walked in,” she said.
The attendees heard the names and causes of death for every fallen officer honored. President Biden also took the stage to voice his appreciation for law enforcement officers and acknowledged the struggles and perils that they face ev- ery day.
“It’s a hard time to be a police officer in America,” Biden confirmed. “I want to make sure you have the tools to be the

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