Magazine article VFW Magazine

Community Honors Police Officers

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Community Honors Police Officers

Article excerpt

The village of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, has heart.

Last September, some 4,000 residents showed just how big their hearts were when members of VFW Post 12067 organized a week-long celebration to thank local police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

Two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers were gunned down in December 2014 while on patrol. When Post member Bob Royer and his wife Jo Ann heard about a Texas girl who spent her winter break writing thank-you notes to the NYPD, they had an idea.

"We tried to think of a time when our first responders had been publicly thanked and we could not," Jo Ann said. So the pair took their idea of public recognition to the mayor, and along with the help of Post members, the community leapt into action. The group created a banner that was hung on the village's Main Street for supporters to sign.

Bob, a Vietnam Navy (1962-67) veteran who served on the USS Morton (a destroyer) as well as an officer on Navy Patrol Craft (PCF-104), was instrumental in organizing the event.

The chamber of commerce passed out posters that businesses hung in their windows, and local restaurants brought food every day to the police station.

A lot of establishments asked their workers to wear blue that week-and blue ribbons popped up everywhere ranging from on trees to lapels. "The whole school system was involved," Bob said. "Students wrote letters, and they made posters for the football game."

That's also where they officially honored those who serve their village, day in and day out, he said. …

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