Ceremony honors officer who died in 1907
Published 2:57 pm Friday, September 5, 2003
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police filled Calvary Cemetery in Niles with music on an overcast Thursday morning.
The special occasion was a memorial service honoring Chicago police officer, Robert J. McAneney, who was killed in the line of duty in Chicago on Nov. 16, 1907.
The ceremony, which was attended by several city officials and representatives from the city's fire and police departments, as well as St. Mary's Church, included unveiling a marker that cements McAneney's final resting place.
The ceremony was held here because of McAneney's family ties to this community, which officers from the Chicago Police found after discovering an old newspaper article published in a Chicago newspaper around the time of McAneney's murder.
Although not born in Niles, McAneney was connected to Niles through his wife.
The family, who had seven children, often visited family in Niles while living in Chicago.
The ceremony, however, also marked the end to the almost 10-year project started by Chicago Police officer Mike Dooley, who wanted to do research for a book about officers killed in the line of duty.
But Dooley's project snowballed and soon encompassed trying to locate the graves -- known and unknown -- of the 420 Chicago police officers who have been killed in the line of duty over the last 150 years.
The Rev. Kencik then said a prayer while the bells at St. Mary's Church rang in honor of McAneney.
Mayor Mike McCauslin, on behalf of the City of Niles, welcomed and acknowledged the effort made by the Chicago Police officers to honor their fallen comrades.
But McCauslin said their effort also makes the city of Niles remember two Niles officers who were shot while on duty here; one in 1907 and the other in 1937.
During the ceremony, a Chicago Police officer gave a detailed description of how McAneney was killed.
The officer said McAneney was confronted by an armed gunman while walking home from work.
The gunman fired two shots and McAneney was fatally struck by two bullets.
Investigators at the time believed McAneney was killed by an ex-convict who had been sent to prison as a result of his work.
Toward the end of the ceremony, Chicago Police handed over a City of Chicago flag which was given to Rev. Kencik.
The flag will be kept at St. Mary's Church.
For members of the Chicago Police Pipes and Drums band, Thursday's ceremony was the last they will play at as the McAneney's ceremony was the last one to be held.
Pipe Sgt. Barbara Jaks has played at every single memorial service the band has given.
She thanks the communities in which memorial ceremonies have been held including Niles, for being so welcoming and helpful in planning the event.
Although it has taken a while to complete, Jaks is satisfied to have completed the run.