CHICAGO — The annual Rock the Badges music festival is underway at Chicago’s Copernicus Center, after dozens of riders joined the 60-mile Ride with Badges to honor the service and sacrifice of police officers and firefighters.
"We support them and it’s a good cause," said Ken Mickey, himself a 38-year veteran of the CPD.
Beginning at a Harley dealership in Glenview Saturday the morning, the third annual ride raises funds for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
"We always remember... Never forget what they’ve given for the city," said Les Fligelman, Iron Justice Motorcycle Club.
This year’s ride is especially powerful, honoring fallen CFD rescue diver Juan Bucio and CPD Cmdr. Paul Bauer.
"They gave their lives for the city, they protected us, so it’s literally the least we could do to show our support," said Cassandra Sabado, Chicago Harley Davidson.
The 60-mile journey ended on Chicago’s Northwest Side at the 6th Annual Rock the Badges Music Fest, a battle of the bands between fire and police that also raises money for the foundation.
"We’re one big family, police, fire, we give each other a hard time and joke around but we got each other’s back," Fligelman said. "When we lose one, everybody loses."