CHICAGO — Along the Lakefront just across from Soldier Field at the Gold Star Families Memorial Park marks the newest addition to those who have died in the name of public service.
The K9 & Equine Memorial Plaza is a tribute to service animals who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“The addition of the K9 & Equine Plaza Memorial Plaza provides our officers with a place and opportunity to also honor their animal partners and the work that they do in service to this city,” said Sandra Wortham with the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
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Three horses and eight dogs dating back to 1936 and a horse named Teddy killed in a traffic crash are among the animal officers memorialized.
Phil Cline is the executive director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which is the steward of the park.
“Just a stone’s throw from here are the names of 600 police officers who made that ultimate sacrifice,” Cline said. “Our foundation is about honoring them, remembering them and giving their families all the support they need. But we are also about honoring those who support the difficult and dangerous work that police officers do day in and day out.”
Three artists are responsible for the sculptures and funding from private and corporate donors through the sale of honor bricks that are the foundation of the plaza.