Perry pays respect as annual event returns

Law enforcement agents from across Illinois congregated in Springfield May 6 to show their respects for fallen officers.

It was the first ceremony held at the Illinois Police Officers Memorial, located outside the Illinois State Capitol, since 2020’s ceremony was canceled due to COVID-19 and the memorial was subsequently renovated. The event honored those fallen in 2019 and 2020, including those who died of the coronavirus. Patrolman Michael Perry, who visited with numerous former colleagues from police forces in the western suburbs, was in attendance. 

“We do it to honor those who paid the ultimate price but also to honor the sacrifice officers make day in and day out,” he said. “We are a family. It’s important for me to go. The sacrifices officers have made should never go unrecognized. Every law enforcement agent should attend. It’s humbling.” 

Perry has been attending the memorial for nearly 30 years. He believes an important function of the event is showing support for those who’ve lost a loved one, referring to them as “gold star families.”