WASHINGTON D.C. – As thousands of people gather in Washington D.C. for National Police Week, the mother of a fallen Hoosier officer is working to make sure those who know her pain are never forgotten.
Sheri Bradway is the mother of IMPD officer Rod Bradway who was killed in the line of duty in 2013. While Sheri was attending National Police Week the following year, she says she noticed a certain group of survivors were being “neglected.”
“Moms don’t get anything, and they’re not even remembered. So I had a little voice in my head that said, ‘Well then, change it,’” Bradway said.
That’s when Bradway created A Quilt for Mother’s Tears, an organization that creates memory quilts for survivor mothers. Each handmade quilt contains the name and end of watch date of the officer that died, recognizing the sacrifice that was made.
“It’s important for a mom to know that she’s not forgotten,” Bradway said.
Since 2014, Sheri says she’s given out around 800 quilts to survivor mothers. A team of volunteers now helps her make the quilt panels. Joining Sheri this year in handing out the quilts is her granddaughter, Sierra, the daughter of officer Bradway.
“To be able to just kind of give that little support to that other family and everything—it means a lot to them. It’s just like a special bond that really no one can understand,” Sierra said.
This year marks the first time Sierra has been back to Police Week since 2014 when her father was honored. Sierra says by helping her grandmother, she feels closer to her dad, and the other survivors who now know what she’s going through.
“You can’t really put it into words, or be able to express. It’s kind of just the emotions that you can see and feel,” Sierra explained.
Sierra says she intends to return to Police Week annually to help her grandmother hand out quilts.