COLLEGE POINT, Queens— Miosotis Familia. Randolph Holder. Mark RIvera. Michael Williams. Christopher Christodoulou.
Their names are forever etched in city history, as heroes who died in the line of duty.
Now they’re stitched on teddy bears, to make sure families remember their sacrifice in a special way.
“What happened to these families, there’s no changing what happened, but I can try to make it better,” said Meagan O’Grady, founder of Blue Line Bears.
The 9th grader is the daughter of a Florida police sergeant.
“When you see the families holding them and you see the little kids playing with them it just makes it awesome,” O’Grady said.
O’Grady presented bears to the families of several fallen NYPD officers at the Police Academy.
So many of them were moved to tears, so touched by the fact that their loved ones are not forgotten.
Each bear is personally stitched and includes pieces of an officer’s uniform, which families say is hard to give up.
“It was actually really hard to send the shirts off to them, to let a little part of Mark go. Mark loved this job so much, this is a really, really special way of remembering him,” said Abby Rivera, who’s husband Mark died of a heart attack on duty in 2015.
“We struggled with it, our son was only on the force three months. He had three shirts. So we had two home in the closet and it meant a lot to us,” said Michael Williams, whose son Michael died in a NYPD police van crash in 2014.
“Every time you look around and see the bear, it’s like my son is still there. Like he’s around. It’s something that cannot leave you now,” said Randolph Holder, whose son Randolph was shot and killed as he chased a fleeing gunman in Harlem in 2015.
O’Grady said she hopes to continue spreading joy to grieving families.
“We obviously don’t want to reach a number of bears because that means more officers have died,” O’Grady said.
To find out more about Blue Line Bears, visit: http://bluelinebears.org/