SUFFOLK, Va. – This holiday season, a Suffolk family is using their decorations as a way to honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“We need to be remembering these people and respect what they have done and what they do everyday,” Bill Price, creator of the Fallen Heroes Tree, told WTKR.
Price’s front yard has been decorated with a six-foot white Christmas Tree. There are currently more than 200 hand painted red and blue stars on the tree. Each one has the name of a fallen police officer or firefighter who died on duty this year.
Some of the stars have names of first responders who died in Virginia, others are from as far away as Wyoming. For price, it doesn’t matter where the fire fighter or police officer was from, they all died doing the same thing.
“It’s a moment to pause and reflect and remember,” explained Price. “These guys, these men and women, they gave their lives protecting their communities.”
Not only does their sacrifice connect each fallen officer and fire fighter, it also connects their families.
“Firsts are hard when someone dies,” said Price. “The first birthday without them, the first Father’s Day without them. So for all those people on the tree, this is their family’s first Christmas without them. So it really brings to light that this is something that we should be remembering.”
In order to honor and respect each officer and fire fighter this holiday season, Price says the Fallen Heroes Tree will be lit 24-hours a day from now until January 6.
“I have had police officers pull up at 2 a.m. and pay their respects and look at some names,” said Price. “Anyone is more than welcome to come by anytime they would like. Don’t hesitate to bang on the door and let me know because I’d like to meet anyone who has a relative or family member on that tree.”
More information about the 2017 Fallen Heroes Tree can be found on their Facebook page.