CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of fallen Chicago Police Officer Ella French issued an emotional message what would have been the officer’s 30th birthday on Tuesday.

Elizabeth French penned this letter, which was released by the Chicago Police Department Tuesday afternoon:

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My family and I wish to say THANK YOU to the people of the City of Chicago and the surrounding communities. We wish to thank all the women and men of the Chicago Police Department, those special people of the Special Activities Division of CPD, and all the women and men in law enforcement near and far. We wish to thank Chicago dispatcher Keith Thornton, Jr., the CPD chaplains, Fr. Brandt, and Cardinal Cupich. We wish to thank Milos Djordjevic of Caring Cremations, all the wonderful people and students of St. Rita of Cascia, and the staff of Queen of Heaven Cemetery. We wish to thank all friends, old and new, and we wish to thank the many faces and names of people who remain unknown to us.

Your beautiful and heartfelt words of comfort, prayers, and donations will be remembered forever. More importantly, your love and support during this difficult time will be a treasure I carry with me for the rest of my life.

I wish it was possible to thank each and every one of you personally. I will try where I can. Please accept this humble letter of thanks to all of you from a grateful mother. I am so blessed. Ella is so honored.

God bless you all.

Elizabeth French

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P.S. Happy Birthday Ella Grace! I love you. Mom

Later Tuesday, Chicago Police members – including police Supt. David Brown – met with Elizabeth French as she blew out candles on a birthday cake for her daughter.

There was also a show of support in the suburbs, as four different businesses held prayer vigils for Officer French at the same time.

Sylvia Masters of Carol Stream’s Mapleberry Pancake House, Marie Caruso LaTorre of Bartlett’s Pasta Mia, Deala Torres of D’s Treats in Bloomingdale and Cindy Santilli and her sister, Marie Kosinski, of Roselle’s This N That Fashion all held a “synchronized prayer vigil” for French at each of their busines locations.

Officer French was shot and killed during a traffic stop in West Englewood on Aug. 7.

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Her partner, Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., was also shot and has been recovering at a rehab facility.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff