Who are these angels?
Inspired by memorials after 9/11 commemorating police officers, Frankie Flick and Pattie Nagel have sought to ensure that Sirius, the single K-9 that passed away during 9/11, was also honored during Police Week. Since 9/11, they have anonymously found a unique and thoughtful way to pay tribute to fallen police K-9s (See photos below).
Over the years, Frankie and Pattie have used many methods to honor the fallen K-9s, from boards, to photos, to even creating a wreath out of dog bones—which unfortunately due to local hungry squirrels didn’t last long!
Today, they use a large board with laminated photo information cards about K-9s that have passed. They add to the poster each year, ensuring that they continue to honor K-9s that have passed in previous years. In fact, they’ve recently started using a second board, as the number of deceased K-9s, unfortunately, has grown.
Pattie and Frankie first met and bonded over their connection to the police force. The two met online in a forum for the spouses of police officers. Frankie’s husband was a police officer in Virginia, who retired in 2005. Pattie was an officer herself and retired from Cook County Sheriff’s office in Illinois this past year. They immediately bonded over their passion, and work tirelessly each year to honor those K-9s heroes.
In fact, they honor many groups besides fallen K-9s. This includes police officers that have passed from all over the world, those that have just passed who won’t be honored at police week until the next year, and those that have passed for other reasons. Due to their large workload, Frankie explains, “we start working the day we get back from police week—it’s an ongoing process.”
When asked what motivates them each year, Pattie explains, “It’s so rewarding—we have people who even call us angels.” Frankie describes how this project has allowed them to connect with loved ones of those who have passed (“we have hugged and cried with survivors”). As Pattie points out, “K-9s are just as important as their human counterparts—they’re the only ones that would jump in front of a bullet for you.” Frankie explains, “as long as we’re able to, we’re going to keep doing this.”
The National Police Dog Foundation is proud to highlight Pattie and Frankie’s incredible work and passion for our four-legged heroes.
Boards honoring our fallen K-9 heroes
One year they even added dog bones to the memorial