September 23, 2014
Sunday marked the second Father’s Day since Chicago Police Sgt. Chuck Mammoser lost his 9-year-old daughter to a rare, degenerative disease last May.
But he joined nearly 200 people Sunday morning at the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park, just east of Soldier Field, for an outdoor Mass to remember fallen officers and their families. Mammoser also was there to honor his late daughter.
“It’s just a great day to be out here,” he said. “To remember everybody lost.”
The Rev. Dan Brandt, a Roman Catholic Priest who is with the department’s Police Chaplains Ministry, celebrated a 30-minute Mass on a sun-soaked morning with a light breeze off Lake Michigan.
“It’s a day to honor our dads and remember the names inscribed on the sacred wall,” he said.
Brandt asked dads in the crowd to stand for a moment of silence near the end of the service. Nearly 100 men rose from lawn chairs to bow their heads.
Mammoser, a 19-year police veteran, came with his wife, Cindy, and son, Christian.
“Tonight we’re watching Argentina versus Bosnia in the World Cup,” 9-year-old Christian said after the service, when asked about his Father’s Day plans.
Retired Chicago homicide detective Charles Salvatore attends the service every year with his family to pay tribute to fallen colleagues during his 20 years on the force.
“I’ve lost a couple of my dear friends who were killed and this is a way to honor them for their service,” he said.
Salvatore’s daughter, Gina Namie, said she planned to make tamales — her dad’s favorite food — to celebrate the occasion.
The Police Chaplains Ministry has hosted the service since 2004.