Janice Vasger knew that her husband was meant for a life of service.

"There was just something about him. He just loved to help other people," Vasger said.

Louis Vasger's service to his city as a Philadelphia police officer had led him to interrupt a robbery in progress at a Logan bar on April 13, 1973, and he was fatally shot.

His sacrifice was honored Thursday at a plaque-dedication ceremony just down the street from the bar where he was shot.

"That day was very surprising to me because he was just so young," Vasger's widow said.

"He was ambushed," she said, her eyes welling up with tears.

Vasger, an almost eight-year veteran of the force, was 28. He left behind his wife and three sons, Louis, Richard and Anthony, all under age 10 at the time.

"He was very dedicated to his job and to us," Vasger said.

"We met at a school dance," she said, smiling. "We were high-school sweethearts."

"He adored his children," said Henry Gruenwald, a family friend.

"It's just really wonderful that we can honor him and let people know that he gave his life," Vasger said.

The Hero Plaque program is a joint effort between the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 and attorney James Binns.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a plaque should call Binns at 215-275-3000.