FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — A group from Washington state made their way to Fresno to honor the lives of fallen officers including two from Fresno.
“Ride to Remember 2020” is traveling across the United States with two trailers canvased with the names and pictures of over 320 U.S. officers that died in 2020.
Lilia DeLa Fuente lost her husband of 30 years, Angel, to COVID-19 on Dec. 28, 2020. She says not a day goes by that she doesn’t miss her soulmate.
“I miss him… I love him… It broke my heart the day I left. A piece of me went with you,” said De La Fuente.
Angel contracted COVID-19 while on the job with the Fresno Police Department– his picture and the picture of 327 others were posted on the trailer as part of the end-of-watch Ride to Remember 2020 tour.
The tour started in Washington state on May 28 and will travel over 22,000 miles across the county until it ends in the middle of August.
Lt. Paul Cervantes says it was heartwarming to see the tribute to his friend.
“It’s not just officer DeLa Fuente, that is angel my buddy and that is the way we treat each other in law enforcement. We are brothers and sisters in the line of duty collectively working to provide a service to the citizens of Fresno,” said Lt. Cervantes.
Just a couple rows up from DeLa Fuente Fresno County Sheriff Detective Jose Mora died in September of COVID-19.
His coworker Robert Salazar says it was sobering to see Mora’s name and picture.
“To see his name on that had to pay the ultimate calling that we have it is heartbreaking.”
And while the loss of loved ones leaves an everlasting hole. The ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten, especially by Lilia.
“There is nothing he wouldn’t do for us. He was our hero. I just want everyone to know he was a wonderful man,” said Lilia.