A Christmas tree lighting ceremony was held Thursday night for fallen Chicago police officers.
The event was at the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park, where the names of 595 Chicago Police Department officers who died in the line of duty are listed on a wall, WGN-TV reports.
“As we light this tree, let every light represent the lives they led," Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said at the ceremony. "As these lights shine, let these lights represent the legacies they left."
Organizers of the event hope the lights and display offer solace to the families of the officers who have lost their lives. Maria Marmolejo, chairwoman for Chicago Police Gold Star Families, is the widow of Officer Eduardo Marmolejo, who died in December 2018.
“Having something to uplift my kid’s spirits as well as my own, even just seeing comforting smiles and faces, is always helpful,” she said.
The tree and lights are also meant as a reminder to the public of the officers' sacrifice in the line of duty.
“I hope that they just take a minute and realize that they’re able to come down here and be here safely,” said Phil Cline, executive director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.