Police throw holiday party for families of fallen officers

Some much needed holiday cheer for children and families of fallen police officers. Grand Central Terminal held a special event where celebrities and even Santa showed up for the special cause.

It's not the Christmas party Patty Coughlin or her daughter Erin ever wanted to attend.

"No matter how they were killed in the line of duty, it's the same emotional effect. You're amongst family- it's one big family,” said Patty.

This family celebrated together at the annual Widows and Children's Holiday Party hosted by the Police Union.

Barbara Connely lost her husband in 1973. She said that as much as this gathering is festive- it's also therapeutic.

"I get to see all the other widows who I know, and I get to share in this very happy occasion after much sadness,” she said.

There were Santa and superheroes for the kids, and there was time for adults to catch up remembering loved ones lost, dating back decades for some.

"The NYPD will never forget. It is equally important because it shows citizens of this city that they don't forget either -- they're the folks that donate to make today special,” said Pat Lynch.

Penny Glazier owns the Michael Jordan Steakhouse in Grand Central Terminal and has hosted this event for nearly 20 years.

"It's grown more important every year, and because of the climate in the city and a country, and knowing what we know, it's becoming more special,” said Glazier.

Celebrities like actor John Doman, from the FOX drama Gotham, are regulars at the event.

"They put themselves through a lot and their families go through a lot. They never know if they're going to come back through. We all have to step back and say these people are doing it for us,” he said.

"Anybody gets the chance to view the police as the same as they are. We're all human beings trying to do our best,” said Commissioner James O’Neil.

O’Neil said that a day like this is so important especially at a time with constant tension nationwide between police and the communities they serve.

"It's a great event for the families. It lets them know how much we care about them. We understand their sacrifice- the sacrifice they made to make this city great,” he said.

Some who attended lost their parents when they were young. A few like Erin, grew up, and answered the call.

"The public needs to see that there's people left behind who are hurting. It wasn't just someone with a badge and shield, but we’re also okay. We pull ourselves up and we keep going,” said Erin.

It’s a holiday celebration in the spirit of so much more.