Family, friends, police officers remember Officer Gary Skerski 10 years after his death

- His brothers and sisters in blue, the residents he served, are remembering his ultimate sacrifice.

Ten years to this day, Philadelphia Police officer Gary Skerski was murdered responding to a robbery call.

Officer Skerski was a 16-year veteran of the police department.

For officers this is just a reminder of how dangerous their jobs are.

“We come out here this evening to remember police officer Gary Skerski.”

It was ten years ago tonight-- officer Skerski -- working overtime-- responded to an armed robbery at this cafe.  As he approached the door, the robber shot him in the neck. He died at the hospital.  Carmen Huff worked at the bar that day.

“He lost his life... For us.”

There are reminders everywhere. A decade later, outside the bar and inside, his memory, it's clear, is never far from the hearts of patrons.  His picture, badge number and radio, all on prominent display.

And on this tenth anniversary--his brothers in blue, friends and neighbors, returned again, as his wife Anne and other family members placed roses on the permanent plaque that sits on the sidewalk.

Anne Skerski said, “It's been ten years, and everybody still comes out to honor Gary and my family and you support us all the time.  So I just want to say thank you.”

His two children, just kids when they lost their dad, are now, all grown up.

Hugs and tears. It's been ten years since we lost a hero. The wounds, not quite so open anymore. But the commitment to never forget Officer Skerski's sacrifice, honored.

Dennis, Skerski’s nephew said, “It makes it, like wow, he's not forgotten, you know. And he's still a part of our family.”

And still, a part of the fabric of this community.

“He lost his life protecting the citizens of this city. He didn't have to come, he was off duty, it was a call, and he came anyway, because that's the kind of person he was.”

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