CHICAGO (CBS) — They are fathers, husbands and civil servants.
A first look at the young Chicago officers killed in the line of duty and the endless show of support with a long procession escorting the bodies and family members wrapped in blankets as the bodies pass by.
Memorial bunting is to be hung over the front door of the Fifth District.
It’s where Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary went to work each day. They worked under a commander who had a difficult job Tuesday morning of leading a procession and escorting the bodies of two of his officers past their workplace, and ultimately, to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
It was a solemn and silent journey as a long line of police vehicles with lights on slowly made its way from the far South Side. On and off-ramps were blocked so the two officers could complete their last call together but in separate ambulances.
Officer Eduardo Marmolejo’s family awaited the arrival of their loved one in the comfort of a Red Cross office. Then, when the procession approached, they were escorted by the Gold Star Families chaplain so they could take their position underneath a giant flag on Harrison Street.
They watched as the uniformed bodies of the officers were taken to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Marmolejo, 36, leaves behind a wife and three children. Gary, 31, was married with an infant child. It’s a devastating tragedy for the families one week before Christmas. It’s also especially hard on the Fifth District, whose commander acknowledged his officers have already dealt with their share of heartache in 2018.
“We talked about the level of tragedy that they’ve experienced,” said Joe Ahern of the 100 Club of Chicago. “I don’t know where they summon the strength to be able to continue to do what they’re doing. And yet they’re in there, in the roll call, getting ready to go out and suit up and protect all of us.”
The 100 Club will present each family with $15,000 within the next 24 hours.
Marmolejo had been on the force for two and a half years, Gary for just 18 months.