CLEVELAND – On a sunny Sunday in downtown Cleveland, hundreds of motorcyclists took to the streets to remember fallen police officers.
The 11th Annual Cops Ride paid tribute to four Ohio officers who lost their lives in the last year:
- Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli of Westerville
- Officer Matthew Mazany of Mentor
- Officer Vu Nguyen of Cleveland
In a poignant speech, Ohio Representative Tom Patton, who lost a son in the line of duty back in 2010 in Cleveland Heights, told the crowd that “everybody dies twice.”
The first time, Rep. Patton said, is when you actually die, and the second time, “is the last time anyone ever speaks your name.”
He then thanked the crowd for remembering all the fallen officers, including his son, saying their actions mean those officers “still haven’t died the last time.”
One of the groups that the ride raises money for is Ohio Cops, an organization that helps the families of fallen officers.
“We are there for the long haul,” says Cindy Stanton, an Ohio Cops Trustee whose husband was killed in the line of duty back in 2010.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says he was impressed by the large turnout.
“It shows that people support us,” he says, “and support our communities.”