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CHICAGO — It’s early and cold when a group gathers at Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive. And as they run along the lakefront, their destination, their collective mission comes into view — this is the 6th year for the Fallen Heroes Honor Run.

The U.S. Marshals Service began this in 2017, as their way to pay tribute to officers killed or injured in the line of duty. Every year the list of those honored grows. 

This year the family of Chicago firefighter Marshawn Plummer will be there. He died in December after battling a fire on the Northwest Side.

“I am proud to say that was my son. He gave, he served, he taught, he befriended, his life will live on through us. We will continue that legacy of giving and serving and uniting because that’s what he would want,” Felicia Townsend, his mother, said.

It is a united family that most here never expected to be a part of. Among them is Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. who was severely injured in a shooting in August that killed his partner Officer Ella French.

For Lyn Stua, this day was new, and was a way to honor ger wife, Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, who was fatally shot in December while on duty.

“Marlene was on the Honor Guard for her whole career, so she was always attending things like this,” Stua said. “Selfishly, I would ask, ‘How long will you be gone?’ And she would say, ‘It’s going to take what it’s going to take.’”

It’s a sobering reminder to this group, with the names of those gone, etched into the police memorial wall near Soldier Field, that their steps on a cold morning could bring warmth to one another.