WASHINGTON — It was a sea of blue at sunset in Washington Monday.
The names of four Chicago police officers lost in the line of duty last year were read aloud at a vigil for fallen officers.
It was the culmination of several days’ worth of events in which the memories of these officers were honored.
Officers from across the country and as far away as London escorted the families of fallen officers. It was a show of respect for the ultimate sacrifice.
Chicago Officers Paul Bauer, Eduardo Marmolejo, Conrad Gary and Samuel Jimenez were among 371 U.S. law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year.
Gary’s wife and 11-month-old daughter, as well as his father, attended the vigil.
Bauer’s daughter Grace said she’s left with a feeling of gratitude.
“… all the people who have talked to us here. … it’s really impressive that they know who we are,” she said. “And it’s cool we get to be with people staying at our hotel because they’ve also lost someone.”
Marmolejo’s wife Maria said she draws strength from her fellow widows.
“There are four of us without our husbands, without our fathers,” she said. “It’s a big deal to see four families.”
Jimenez was also married with three kids. His wife, Crystal, said she felt some solace while in Washington.
“I feel like it brings some comfort to know I’m not alone,” she said.
They are not alone in their grief or loss.
Some carry the star of a partner killed in the line of duty two decades ago and all carry the pain of losing a friend.
Deputy Chief George Devereux came on the job in 1986 with Bauer and the two rose through the ranks together.
“No amount of someone’s name being etched on a wall somewhere provides closure,” he said. “No amounts of wreaths being laid has that amount of closure.”