Archive for October, 2015

flag

our flag, our city…

In 1915, Mayor William Hale Thompson appointed a municipal flag commission, chaired by Alderman James A. Kearnes. Among the commission members were wealthy industrialist Charles Deering and impressionist painter Lawton S. Parker. Parker asked lecturer and poet Wallace Rice to develop the rules for an open public competition for the best flag design. Over a thousand entries were received. In the end, the commission chose the design by Wallace Rice himself. On April 4, 1917, the commission’s recommendation was accepted by the city council.

The City of Chicago Flag consists of two blue horizontal stripes on a field of white, each stripe one-sixth the height of the full flag, and placed slightly less than one-sixth of the way from the top and bottom. Between the two blue stripes are four red, six-pointed stars arranged in a horizontal row. The stripes represent geographical features of the city, the stars symbolize historical events, and the points of the stars represent important virtues or concepts. In a review by the North American Vexillological Association of 150 American city flags, the Chicago city flag was ranked second best with a rating of 9.03 out of 10, behind only the flag of Washington, D.C.

The three white background areas of the flag represent, from top to bottom, the North, West and South sides of the city. The top blue stripe represents Lake Michigan and the North Branch of the Chicago River. The bottom blue stripe represents the South Branch of the river and the “Great Canal“, over the Chicago Portage.[2]

There are four red six-pointed stars on the center white stripe, from left to right (although this is not the order in which they were added to the flag).

  • The first star represents Fort Dearborn. It was added to the flag in 1939. Its six points symbolize transportation, labor, commerce, finance, populousness, and salubrity.[2]
  • The second star stands for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and is original to the 1917 design of the flag. Its six points represent the virtues of religion, education, aesthetics, justice, beneficence, and civic pride.[2]
  • The fourth star represents the Century of Progress Exposition (1933–1934), and was added in 1933. Its points refer to bragging rights: the United States’ 2nd Largest City (became 3rd largest in 1990 census when passed by Los Angeles), Chicago’s Latin Motto (Urbs in horto – City in a garden), Chicago’s “I Will” Motto, the Great Central Marketplace, Wonder City, and Convention City.[2]

A possible fifth star has been proposed for the city flag on more than one occasion. The first occasion occurred in the 1940s, when a letter to the Chicago Tribune asked that a fifth star be added to the city flag in honor of the city’s place in the history of the nuclear age.[3] On another occasion, a star was proposed in honor of Harold Washington, the first African-American mayor of Chicago.[4] A fifth star was also discussed following the Chicago Flood of 1992. A proposal was put forward by the 2016 Olympic Games Bid Committee; if the bid to host the games had been successful, a fifth star might have been added to the flag;[5] however, the Olympic bid was lost to Rio de Janeiro. In a more facetious vein, a fifth star has been proposed if the Chicago Cubs should win the World Series, which has not happened since 1908.


 

 


emily

a brave little soul…

On 28 April 2015 Chicago police honored a girl who is fighting cancer.  Bagpipes played as the CPD gave 12-year-old Emily Beazley and her sister honorary stars at police headquarters.  Emily was battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  There was a huge outpouring of support for Emily and her family.  A stretch of Homan Ave. in the Mount Greenwood neighbor was just named after her.  Also,  Emily’s supporters have made a video appeal to pop star Taylor Swift to visit her.

Emily lost her battle against cancer on 18 May 2015.

The community and the Chicago Police Department continue to honor Emily’s valor – ensuring she will never be forgotten.


Emily’s dream becomes reality at Kures for Kids fair :: Thousands of visitors to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences on Sept. 20.

The event, named in honor of the 12-year-old Mt. Greenwood girl whose fight against cancer inspired the entire neighborhood before she died in May, included vendors, a balloon release and a police car designed in purple and green, the colors representing Emily’s fight.

According to organizers, about 5,000 people attended.

Michael Tarczan, an investigator with the Macon County Public Defender’s Office, met Emily through Chicago Police Memorial Foundation volunteer Kate McMahon, he said, and helped Emily receive a police escort into Springfield when she visited the state capital earlier this year.

He has designed “countless” cars he said, and wanted to dedicate one to Emily.

This one, a former police squad car in Waverly, Ill., Tarczan said, has purple and green stripes on the side and a Kures for Kids logo near a rear window; it also reads “Emily Strong” on the side panel.

“I wanted it to look like a Chicago squad, but have a spin on it with her,” Tarczan said. “And this is the vision I had in my head.”

The day of the fair, Tarczan received a police escort from the 22nd District police station, and he drove by the Beazley Family home to pay his respects.

All the funds from the fair, officials said, will be donated to cancer research.

To donate or for more information, visit the Web site at kuresforkids.org.


extralarge

A police car has been redesigned to honor Emily Beazley…

The car will be on display at Emily Beazley’s Kures for Kids fundraiser from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood, where Emily lived.

Emily battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for four years. As her condition worsened, her friends and family started the “Light It Up For Emily” social media campaign, with many of Chicago’s buildings and homes using green and purple lights to show their support.

The purple-and-green squad car is the brainchild of Michael Tarczan of downstate Blue Mound, Ill. A Portage Park native, Tarczan is currently the head investigator for the Macon County Public Defender’s Office in Decatur. In an interview with DNAinfo, he said working on the car made him feel closer to his late 4-month-old son.


CPD-Memorial

CPD Memorial Foundation…

Since it’s founding in 2004, the pipes and drums of the Chicago Police Department have stood side by side with the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.  Their mission parallels ours —  honoring the lives of our fallen heroes.

Established in 2004, the Foundation strengthens the relationship between the Chicago Police, its business and civic leaders and its citizenry. It allows us to express our gratitude to the fallen officers’ families for the ultimate sacrifice of their loved one.

Since the first officer to die in the line of duty, there have been over 570 Chicago police officers who have sacrificed their lives for our city. The families of these brave officers are supported by the Department and other organizations, but as one might imagine, the cost in terms of financial, emotional and psychological support is overwhelming. Other, perhaps less-known risks associated with being a police officer are the stresses of the job. This stress often leads to disastrous consequences such as when a police officer takes his own life. Finally, as a tribute to the heroic lives that these officers led, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has built a permanent memorial to these brave men and women. It is a spectacular site located just east of Soldier Field on Chicago’s lakefront.

By supporting these initiatives, our public-private partnership provides the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation with the means to achieve our goals. It is a sign to all the citizens of Chicago, as well as our nation, that Chicago’s corporate family and business leaders care about its police officers and their families. Your support is a reminder that when troubled times arise, we come together as families do, and provide comfort, support, and protection for one another.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.  Learn how you can support the CPD Memorial Foundation here.

Photos from the 2015 Candlelight vigil…



The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation commissioned the $3.5 million
Gold Star Families Memorial and Park, a five-acre area of Burnham Park
east of Soldier Field. Dedicated in 2006, the memorial pays tribute to all of
the police officers who have died in the line and performance of duty since
the formation of the Chicago Police Department in the 1830s.
At the north and south entrances, two towering pylons represent a set of
open doors and serve as the gateway into the memorial. These stainless
steel pylons have a geometric motif referencing the iconic checkerboard
pattern used on the hat band of a Chicago police officer’s uniform.
This motif is repeated in other elements of the memorial.Beyond the north
entrance to the memorial, there are four “virtue and value spaces,” denoting
the characteristics of courage, honor, service and commitment to family.
To the south, a large lawn area has a water wall with Burnham Harbor as
its backdrop. This central gathering place is the location of the Chicago Police
Department’s yearly candlelight vigil. The adjacent area, known as the
“sacrifice space,” is the spiritual heart ofthe memorial. It is enclosed by a
circular concrete wall that has a band of black granite inscribed with the
names of more than 450 officers who died in service to the city.

During the design process, members of the Chicago Police Memorial
Foundation stressed the importance of conveying a sense a life in this area
rather than just focusing on grieving and death. Therefore, this area
evokes a sense of calm and protection. Adjacent to the “sacrifice space” is
the “living sacrifice space,” an area which honors officers who have
suffered grievous injuries in their service to the city.

In 2010, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation commissioned a bronze
sculpture for the “living sacrifice space.” Created by Julie Rotblatt-Amrany
and Omri Amrany, the highly realistic sculptural grouping depicts a police
officer in a wheelchair with his hat on his lap, surrounded by his family and
another officer. The sculpture’s base sits on pavement that is embellished
with a symbolic blue star, and there are several other blue stars on the
adjacent concrete wall.


 


parl

Gold Star Families…

Anyone who has ever worn the badge, or had a family member who wears one, knows the ultimate sacrifice might be asked of them. We know in an instant, any assignment can turn into danger, then death, then unending sorrow. When a police officer dies in the line of duty it is a tragedy for the entire community, but it is forever a memory of fellow police officers and their families

The Gold Star Families was started in the early 1980s by Father Tom Nangle and Sgt. Robert Faust (now retired) of the Special Activities Unit. Since both had duties that included responding to every line of duty death, an intense bond was often formed with the families of slain officers during the hours spent together in their homes, the hospital, and at wakes and funerals. After the white gloves and bagpipes were put away, though, and the CPD mourning flag was folded and stored, life went on……except for those families who had lost a loved one.

On one of these occasions when Faust and Father Nangle were together, he mentioned that it would nice if there was some way they could let these grieving families know that they weren’t forgotten by the men and women of the Department. This fleeting thought became the founding principle of the Gold Star Families.

The Gold Star Families is not intended to be a mourning society or a grief group, but simply a gathering of the survivors of our city’s police officers whose lives were lost in the line of duty. To show this remembrance and respect, there are meetings and gatherings scheduled, along with newsletters, intended to see some semblance of healing for family members who have endured the agony of losing a loved one and have moved on with their lives.

Chicago’s Gold Star Families — this is not an organization anyone seeks to join or become a member of…

Learn more about Chicago’s Gold Star Families here.

 


The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation commissioned the $3.5 million
Gold Star Families Memorial and Park, a five-acre area of Burnham Park
east of Soldier Field. Dedicated in 2006, the memorial pays tribute to all of
the police officers who have died in the line and performance of duty since
the formation of the Chicago Police Department in the 1830s.

At the north and south entrances, two towering pylons represent a set of
open doors and serve as the gateway into the memorial. These stainless
steel pylons have a geometric motif referencing the iconic checkerboard
pattern used on the hat band of a Chicago police officer’s uniform.
This motif is repeated in other elements of the memorial.Beyond the north
entrance to the memorial, there are four “virtue and value spaces,” denoting
the characteristics of courage, honor, service and commitment to family.
To the south, a large lawn area has a water wall with Burnham Harbor as
its backdrop. This central gathering place is the location of the Chicago Police
Department’s yearly candlelight vigil. The adjacent area, known as the
“sacrifice space,” is the spiritual heart ofthe memorial. It is enclosed by a
circular concrete wall that has a band of black granite inscribed with the
names of more than 450 officers who died in service to the city.

During the design process, members of the Chicago Police Memorial
Foundation stressed the importance of conveying a sense a life in this area
rather than just focusing on grieving and death. Therefore, this area
evokes a sense of calm and protection. Adjacent to the “sacrifice space” is
the “living sacrifice space,” an area which honors officers who have
suffered grievous injuries in their service to the city.

In 2010, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation commissioned a bronze
sculpture for the “living sacrifice space.” Created by Julie Rotblatt-Amrany
and Omri Amrany, the highly realistic sculptural grouping depicts a police
officer in a wheelchair with his hat on his lap, surrounded by his family and
another officer. The sculpture’s base sits on pavement that is embellished
with a symbolic blue star, and there are several other blue stars on the
adjacent concrete wall.

Learn more about Gold Star Families memorial and park here. 


#NeverForget

 


salite

brotherhood for the fallen…

The band is honored to work in partnership with Brotherhood For the Fallen.   Brotherhood for the Fallen was established in March 2010. Their mission is to honorably attend the services of Fallen Officers across the country who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving his/her life during the performance of their duties, by providing safety for the citizens of the United States. Their goal is to attend the services to give support to the families, department, and communities, and also to provide the family with a monetary donation. For more information visit their website — www.brotherhoodforthefallen.org – or follow them on facebook here.


Our brotherhood wasn’t shaped from holding hands or talking about how special we all are. It was born from one of the most personal situations you can face: the possibility that you may not come home. We have to depend on each other. What you believe and how you look means absolutely nothing when everything is on the line. The only question you’ll ever ask about your fellow cop is, “Will he have my back?”
Everything else is trivial. 



reboot

website re-boot…

We are so grateful and humble for our collective talents, hard work – and the opportunities we have to perform and grow; all the while sharing what we do with the world.  The band’s website – pdCPD.org – went online in 1999 and is an amazing collection of photos and details of the band’s journey.

Over the past 16 years we’ve been fortunate to have our website managed by a myriad of good people – we are thrilled to announce a website re-boot using the WordPress content management platform.

The re-boot would not have been possible without the technical know-how and gracious assistance from family, friends and former band members whose knowledge of Word-Press and all things web related allowed for the myriad of enhancements.

While the new website does have a fresh, clean look – much of the same content we’ve shared since 1999 (still loading photos) is still contained herein.  However, we have added some new features both behind the scenes and for your browsing pleasure.

Some new features include:

  • Incorporation of some new branding
  • Mobile application for phones and tablets
  • Streamlined contact information so your message gets to the right person the first time
  • A new member’s only area…
  • Updated news feed allowing the band to post stories, photos and videos on the go
  • Archived photos
  • A new interactive calendar allowing export to third party calendar applications like Outlook
  • Social Networking integration to Twitter, Instagram and Google+
  • Site search functionality

The new website is a work in progress and we invite you to continue to come back and visit the band online to see what’s new and how we will integrate this new web platform to deliver information on our mission…


bravest-and-finest

bravest and finest…

From time to time the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department join forces with the Chicago Fire Department Pipes and Drums; Chicago’s bravest and finest side by side.  We’re proud to work and play side by side with members of the Chicago Fire Department.

The Chicago Fire Department Pipes & Drums was established with three virtues in mind. Pride, honor and tradition. This public service band set out to create an organization that upholds the traditions of the Fire Service and aims for the high performance standard of a world class Pipe & Drum Band. The CFD P&D is comprised of members of the Chicago Fire Department and their immediate family. Every decision the band makes is done while keeping in mind our core values. Put the focus on the band and the department we represent first. Band members realize that involvement in the band is an extension of their calling in the fire service. For our civilian members, it is often a way to honor a loved one and give back the CFD family that has been there since they were born. Since the very beginning, the band has received strong support from the Chicago Fire Department and the Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2.  For more information check out the CFD pipe band on facebook here


never-forgotten

Fallen cops forgotten no longer…

From the Chicago Tribune — July 31, 2003|By Sufiya Abdur-Rahman, Tribune staff reporter

Back in 1930, Chicago police Officer George Neil gave his life trying to protect a black man who was being harassed by white men. Until Wednesday, his body had been buried like a pauper’s, in an unmarked grave.

But a group of Chicago police officers changed that Wednesday when they unveiled a new headstone for Neil in Mt. Greenwood Cemetery, 2900 W. 111th St.

“There may not be any family members who will ever be aware of this, but we just felt like it’s something we had to do,” said Investigator Mike Dooley.

Dooley and a group of police officers have been volunteering to replace 63 damaged or missing headstones of Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty.

Neil, 33, a white patrolman in what was called the Stock Yards district, was beaten and shot by four white men in 1930 when he stood up for a black man in a South Side restaurant.

Little was written about the killing in newspapers at the time. There weren’t many police records about the circumstances of Neil’s death. And Dooley is not sure if there ever was a headstone on Neil’s grave.

That’s why police officers felt they needed to go back and properly honor officers killed in the line of duty.

“May we never forget,” said Detective John Ryan, who led the headstone unveiling ceremony. None of Neil’s relatives were there. None were found, Dooley said.

Neil died on May 22, 1930, four days after he was shot in a restaurant at 5435 S. Halsted St.

He was off duty and eating at the counter when two white men came in and ordered a black customer, Nathaniel Lawler, to give them his seat at the counter. Lawler refused, and the men jerked his barstool from under him, according to Tribune reports.

When Neil intervened, the white men left the restaurant. A few minutes later, they came back with two other white men and began beating Neil with a barstool.

During the beating, one of the men grabbed Neil’s gun and shot him.

Reports indicate that two men were arrested and two got away. No one ever stood trial.

“He stood up [against] something that wasn’t right,” said Dennis Bingham, the Police Department’s historian, while looking at Neil’s police star in the Honored Star Case at police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave.

The Honored Star Case, a glass-enclosed case along the walls of the lobby, contains the names, shields, dates of death and brief descriptions of the 420 Chicago officers who have been killed in the line of duty since 1854. There are two interactive screens that people can use to see pictures of and learn more about the officers.

While gathering information for the Honored Star Case–which was in the superintendent’s office at the old headquarters–and a book about Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty, the damaged and missing headstones were discovered, Bingham said.

 

When we got wind of the fact that there were so many of us just lying in a dirt hill, we were appalled,” said Ryan, president of the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department bagpipe band that played at Neil’s ceremony.

The band held a fundraiser at McCormick Place last year and raised $60,000 for the headstone campaign, Ryan said. The officers have replaced 50 headstones so far and hope to replace the rest by the end of summer.

“The department hasn’t been too good about keeping history,” Dooley said. “I don’t know if we’re changing history or anything. “I think we’re making a lot of police officers a little more aware of the department.”

Officer Danny McGuire Jr., pipe major of the Pipes and Drums band, said, “It’s about doing the right thing.”


Through hard work and donations, volunteers have been able to identify and add gravestones to the resting places of many police officers who died in the line of duty. Rosehill, located in the Ravenswood community, is Chicago’s oldest and largest non-sectarian commentary. It’s the final resting place for Chicago Police Officer Phillip Robinson killed in the line of duty in 1887. The gravesite is old but the marker is new; it was put there recently by a group of volunteers because the burial took place without one. Norman Schwartz of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society is one of them.

Officer Henry McDowell was killed in the line of duty on September 7th 1892. His marker and others placed by volunteers were donated by Tom Gast of Gast Monuments.

“The first step is to make the design…the design in this case had to do with the fact that these officers died in the line of duty so that fact had to be known the notice on each marker has the badge number of that officer,” said Thomas Gast, Gas Monuments.

Since the program began, 65 unmarked graves of police officers now have head stones.

When the volunteers began their work in 2002, they were able to determine that 47 police officers killed in the line of duty were buried without markers in 13 cemeteries in Chicago and five cemeteries out of the state.

One of the oldest graves is that of Nels Handsen, who was killed in 1886 during the Hay Market Riots. Volunteer Joan Troka was involved in the process of finding the unmarked graves.

“I have children of my own and I thought how these families could face this and I thought well somebody has to do this and I felt joy in it,” said Troka. “Some peace in the cemetery, every time I’d find one I could do a dance I was so happy.”


lakefront

a Sunday lakefront ceremony…

From the Chicago Tribune :: May 04, 2014|By Peter Nickeas | Tribune reporter

Children played on a patch of grass in the shadow of Soldier Field until the sound of bagpipes to the north drew their attention, and that of their parents.

As the pipes approached, escorted by police officers on motorcycles and followed by thousands of Chicago Police Officers, parents implored their children to stop playing and line up on the curb to watch for their relatives.

“C’mon, c’mon!” one woman said while nudging a child wearing a paddy cap. “James, daddy’s coming,” another woman said to her child.

Once each year the officers in Chicago — along with some from Cook County and a handful from the New York Police Department — march past the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park at the lakefront near 18th Street. The park features a wall memorializing officers who died in the line of duty.

And though the parade, called the St. Jude Police Memorial March, is open to the public, it exists for police officers scattered across 22 patrol districts, three detective divisions and dozens of smaller units to honor their colleagues killed in the line of duty.

When an officer dies, his surviving kin becomes a Gold Star family, similar to the way families with armed services members killed in the line of duty honor their loved ones with flags bearing a single gold star.

The St. Jude Police Memorial March doesn’t draw many members of the public and the police outnumber the family members who do attend. It also serves as a reunion of sorts, with officers from different parts of the city reuniting with others with whom they had once shared a watch.

Sunday morning, it seemed there were more children than adults, all outwardly proud of their parents and uncles and aunts and siblings. Some of the children wore dress coats with a Chicago Police Department patch sewn on, a miniature version of the formal dress or “Class A” uniform the thousands of officers wore for the parade.

Even many of the pets wore checkered collars, like the band around the crown covers worn by officers.

A few of the department’s administrators, including Superintendent Garry McCarthy, watched from a viewing stand while the rest of the department walked past. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez were also on the stand.

Flags bearing either the district number or unit number were carried at the front of the formations that marched  — first past signs with photos of officers who died in the line of duty and then past the reviewing stand on their left.

The officers walked five across and relatives craned their arms and necks, trying to get cell phones in position to snap photos.

And as each unit passed, the flag was dropped horizontal as the unit’s commander ordered his officers “eyes left!” and the unit raised their hands to salute.

 

Then the flag was raised, the officers were ordered to look forward, and the parade went on, with the unit flags collected near the review stand.

Mike Ryan, a 62-year-old boiler inspector for the city, was one of the civilians watching, drawn to the scene because his daughter Megan is a police officer working in the Chicago Lawn district. She wanted to be a police officer since she was a small child and is enthusiastic about her new career — she graduated the academy two weeks ago.

“I was a little leery at first,” Ryan said, noting that seeing the parade and talking to officers he knows from childhood and from his work for the city helped him feel better about his daughter’s calling.

“They got each other’s backs at all times, it makes me feel a little better.

“This is nice that they do this, this is pretty sharp.”