PHILADELPHIA — A memorial ceremony was held on Dec. 4 to mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of city Police Officer Joseph Friel. The event was held at the intersection of Ridge and Acorn, where Officer Friel's patrol car was sideswiped by a drunken driver who crossed over into incoming traffic on this date back in 1994.
Only six months out of the Police Academy, Officer Friel had all the makings of an outstanding policeman before his life was so abruptly cut short.
The memorial invocation was offered up by 5th District Chaplain Jack Kennedy. Guest speakers included Deputy Commissioner Joseph Sullivan, 5th District Commander Malachi Jones, and Officer Friel's brother, Lt.Robert Friel. They provided perspective on the courage and sacrifices made by Officer Friel and fellow members of the police brotherhood.
The Rev. Monsignor Kevin Lawrence of St John the Baptist Parish delivered a moving pastoral prayer followed by the laying of the wreath on the Acorn Street island by Friel's brother Robert, sister Lorraine DiSanzo, sister Carrie Murawski, Deputy Commisioner Joseph Sullivan, and Vice President FOP Lodge No. 5 Steve Weiler. A stirring musical accompaniment for the event was provided by the Philadelphia Police & Fire Pipes and Drums. Deacon Jim Browne of Holy Family closed out with an uplifting benediction.