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Law Enforcement Officers Gather To Honor Fallen Comrades

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Fallen Officers' Procession

A procession of police officers heading to a memorial service for their fallen colleagues in Lyons. (Credit: CBS)

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LYONS, Ill. (CBS) – Hundreds of law enforcement officers from Cook County gathered Tuesday morning to remember their fallen comrades.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, they joined in a procession in Lyons for the Cook County Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation Ceremony.

Seven officers and deputies who died in the line of duty were honored at the 10th annual ceremony. Hundreds of police officers attended, including members of the color guard and bagpipers.

The ceremony was expected to begin soon after 11 a.m. The procession left from Morton College in Cicero around 10:30 a.m. and headed west on Pershing Road to Ogden Avenue, and finally to the Cermak Woods Forest Preserve in Lyons.

A procession of squad cars and police motorcycles headed down the road, and the Chicago Police helicopter even flew overhead.

Officers from 60 different departments around Cook County were represented, including the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s office, suburban police departments, the FBI and the Illinois State Police.

Families of five fallen Chicago Police officers who died last year were to receive memorial plaques at the ceremony.

–Sgt. Alan Haymaker was killed when he lost control of his squad car on Lake Shore Drive while responding to a call of a burglary in progress on Feb. 22, 2010.

–Officer Thomas Wortham IV was shot and killed in a robbery near his parents’ home in the 8400 block of South King Drive on May 20, 2010.

–Officer Thor Soderberg was shot and killed as he walked to his car at the end of a shift at the police facility at 61st Street and Racine Avenue on July 7, 2010.

–Officer Michael Bailey was shot and killed while cleaning out his car at his home near 74th Street and Evans Avenue on July 18, 2010.

–Officer Michael Flisk was shot and killed as he investigated a burglary in a garage behind the 8100 block of South Burnham Avenue on Nov. 26, 2010. Also killed in the shooting was retired Chicago Housing Authority police officer Stephen Peters.

Two other sheriff’s police officers killed in the line of duty more than 80 years ago will also be remembered, and in looking at the number of officers that have been killed in the line of duty from Cook County, about 70 percent of all of them from Illinois came from Cook County,” said Ed Sajdak, founder and president of the Cook County Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.” So we said, you know what? There should be something here to honor their sacrifice for the communities that they served.

The goal of the foundation is also to build a physical memorial for fallen officers at the memorial park. Sajdak said the memorial will cost $3 million, but so far, the foundation has only raised $600,000.

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