CHICAGO — Outside Area Four police headquarters, the rumble is unmistakable as the ‘Ride to Remember’ took place, honoring those who died serving as Chicago police officers.
Every year since 2005, the ride has raised money for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. Riders travel from the West Side to the South Side before riding up DuSable Lake Shore Drive to the police memorial near Soldier Field.
“I’m honored to be here for the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty on behalf of the citizens of this great city,” Rabbi Moshe Wolf, a CPD Chaplain said.
Since 2007, the Police Memorial Foundation has given out nearly $15 million.
“The money goes to the families of officers who were killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty,” Phil Cline of the foundation said.
Much of the money goes to pay for officer care and education for their children. The ‘Ride to Remember’ brings together officers past and present, along with Gold Star families.
Shelley Perez now leads the Chicago chapter. Her husband, Ben Perez, was killed on duty in 2002 when he was struck and killed by a train.
“It’s life changing when a child loses a parent, but what the foundation does is step in and make life a little better for these kids,” Perez said.
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A little better in tough situations, as many in the department continue on with their jobs amid a changing culture.
“Through COVID-19, the riots, the past year, there was one constant in Chicago. That was when you called 911, the police showed up,” Wolf said.
A fitting tribute to those who have served the city and the families they have left behind.