Page 46 - November 2021
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  Lodge 7 members placed placards of fallen officers at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
partners and protectors your communi- ties need.”
Salvatore said it was touching to hear the nation’s president speak about loss, tragedy and the negative police rheto- ric. The most encouraging reassurance, however, was the opportunity for civil- ians and officers to stand united. In that moment, it didn’t matter what career, background or location the attendees came from. It was a memorial experience of the highest standard.
“It was like a giant funeral,” explained Chicago Police Officer Heather Serrano. “To see everybody from all jurisdictions come together to memorialize all these officers who are heroes is beautiful and
overwhelming because it’s a reminder of everything we go through every year.”
Chiquita Newman shared how she was able to hug other family members who, for the first time, understood what it meant to be the spouses of officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. These were empathy hugs, not sympathy hugs.
“It took me losing my spouse to under- stand that you as a family member sacri- fice your life as well,” Chiquita admitted. “Sometimes people can say, ‘I know how you feel,’ but they don’t. This time, when you have someone say, ‘I lost my spouse too,’ people actually know what you’re going through.”
Etching a memory at the Memorial Wall
When Marco DiFranco’s name was
called at the memorial service, his moth- er, Santa, represented the family. Before receiving an award in Marco’s name, Santa had the chance to pin a rose on a huge wreath to memorialize her son. A rose was pinned for each of the 701 fall- en officers.
“It was very healing for her to go up and pin the rose,” Salvatore relayed. “It was great for her to see that.”
As Salvatore watched his mother add a rose, he couldn’t help but imagine what it would have been like to be at National Police Week with his brother.
“My only regret is that it was my first time ever going to the Memorial,” Salva- tore expressed. “I wish I would’ve gone with my brother and been able to expe-

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