PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "We have to support our police. We do know what can happen at any time on this job for them," said Terri O'Connor. "And to know that there are people always behind us, you need that support. You really, you truly do."
O'Connor's husband, Sgt. James R. O'Connor IV, was killed in the line of duty in March 2020. But through the tragedy, she discovered a community of people who swore to never forget her husband and his family.
The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police uses its Survivors Fund as a way to support families like O'Connor's. And today, dozens of motorcyclists rolled out to raise money for that cause.
"They are honoring our fallen heroes," said Terri O'Connor. "My husband is one of those, and to see his co-workers here and do that in his honor is truly amazing."
Today's event marked the 15th annual Philly's Fallen Heroes Memorial Motorcycle Ride, which is organized by the Bullets Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club (LE MC). Riders started at the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 and cruised all the way to Wildwood, New Jersey.
Originally scheduled for June, the rain date for the event drew an impressive turnout. All of the proceeds support the Survivors Fund.
"The Survivors Fund is a benefit for police officers' families, to help them stay up on their feet, help for college tuition," said Philadelphia SWAT Officer Philip Scratchard, President of Bullets LE MC. "Last year, we raised over $13,000."
The financial support creates a lasting legacy for the fallen hero that will sustain generations to come.
"To be taken care of by our Survivors Fund is a burden off of the families to not have to think about certain things sometimes," said Terri O'Connor. "Two and a half years later, these guys are my biggest supporters and will do anything, you know, for me anytime and we're very lucky that way, under the worst case scenario."
To learn more about the Philly's Fallen Heroes Memorial Motorcycle Ride, visit their Facebook page.