Page 53 - November 2021
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An evening of CPMF valor
The Chicago Police Memorial Foun- dation (CPMF) honored 13 brave and courageous law enforcement officers on Oct. 7 during the ninth annual CPMF Valor Awards.
The Bagpipes and Drums of the Em- erald Society kicked off the evening with a rousing procession, followed by a spe- cial performance by three alumni of the Chicago Children’s Choir.
The alumni performed a celebratory mashup rendition of “Ain’t No Moun- tain High Enough” and “Lean On Me” to usher in the national anthem. Master of ceremonies Roe Conn then took the stage to begin the awards portion of the evening.
“It’s been two years since we’ve been able to actually be in a room to- gether, and a
lot has happened in these last 728 days,” he expressed. “Despite what we hear in the news and from the halls of gov- ernment from LaSalle Street to Spring- field to Washington, the problem is not the police. We in this room, the police among us and the supporters of police, know that this is the thinnest of blue lines, and it stands between our civiliza- tion and anarchy.”
Father Dan Brandt took the podium to share words of encouragement and a moment of silence with the honorees and their families, and CPMF Executive Director Phil Cline followed to intro- duce the awards.
“First and foremost, [the CPMF’s] mission involves being there for the families that have sacrificed so much themselves,” Cline began. “Tonight, 11 Chicago Police Officers and two ATF agents will receive the highest Chicago Police Department Foundation’s honor: the Valor Award. Eleven of these officers were shot while protecting our city. Two of these officers returned fire and ap- prehended the shooters.”
Among the honorees were Carlos Ya- nez Jr. and Josh Blas, who were involved in the shooting that claimed the life of Ella French. Each Valor Award recipi- ent crossed the stage, and Yanez, still in recovery from the shooting incident, joined by FaceTime.
The evening concluded with a fund-
raising initiative for the CPMF and touching video tributes from prominent Chicagoans and public figures.
“When the radio crackles and the sound of ‘Shots fired’ is heard, those of you in this room and those of you who are on the street right now run toward the danger, not away,” Conn affirmed. “Now I understand better than I ever thought I would that it’s really about the selflessness of giving back to the com- munity.... They’re not thinking about their own personal safety. They’re not thinking about anything other than going to get that bad guy, protecting
their partners and protecting the com- munity.”

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