From the Beverly Review :: In the shadow of Soldier Field is located a more important place and more important names than any football stadium or football players.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF) Gold Star Families Memorial and Park sits just east of the home of the Chicago Bears, and on Sept. 16, the CPMF held its annual candlelight vigil, remembering all officers who have died in the line of duty.
And with representatives from all over the city on hand, the youth of the 19th Ward were lauded. CPMF Executive Director and former Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline praised the way that the ward’s schools rallied behind the “Get Behind the Vest” campaign, which raises funds for new bullet-proof vests for officers.
19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea reached out to Kline, he said, and soon, through local pancake breakfasts and out-of-uniform days at some schools, the campaign picked up steam all around the city; soon, Kline said, other Chicagoland schools wanted to help.
All together, Kline said, those students have raised more than $30,000 for the campaign; and so far, 5,000 vests have been purchased through it.
Amidst the back-and-forth debate, if not heated arguments, about whether saying “Black lives matter” is a criticism of police or simply putting racism in the spotlight, here was a refreshing report about real results that everyone can love—and it was accomplished by kids.
Also at the vigil, the names of more than 500 police officers who have died in the line of duty were read; a representative of The Beverly Review was honored to read eight names: Michael Lukaszewski, Bernie Poe, Barney Halperin, John W. Quirk, Zollie Reiger, Roy A. Carney, Joseph Borcia and Mitchell A. Stone.
According to chicagocop.com, five of those men—Lukaszewski (24), Poe (24), Quirk (24), Reigner (28) and Stone (28)—were less than 30 years old; they were kids, really, yet another sign of how noble youths can be.
Let’s remember that the next time arguments turn heated about whether we should say “Black lives matter” or “All lives matter,” let’s put our money where our mouths are and raise money for causes we believe in, like the students around the 19th Ward have done.
For more information on “Get Behind the Vest,” visit cpdmemorial.org or getbehindthevest.org.