BUCHANAN, VA (WFXR) – Bill Price has been dedicating the Fallen Heroes Tree to First Responder’s who have lost their lives while on duty for the past 4 years. Each blue and red star represents a fallen hero who lost their life in the line of duty during this year (2019). This tree includes all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
There are 142 blue stars representing police officers, 23 of them represent Canine Dogs… and 9 of these 142 blue stars represents Police officers who died this year from cancer caused by their efforts rescuing people during the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center. Fairfax K9 Officer Doby lost his life unexpectedly back in Feburary, he was only two years old. Virginia State Trooper Lucas Bartley Dowell tragically lost his life in the line of duty on February 4th 2019.
There are 72 red stars representing firefighters, 17 of them died from cancer associated with their valiant efforts rescuing others from the rubble left by the 2001 September 11th attacks. In the four years Bill Price has been doing the Fallen Heroes Tree, this year was the first time Bill had to make a star for a dear friend he served with at this first fire department he worked at back in 1994. His friend John R. Kennedy died while on duty training the next generation of heroes.
“I learned a few years ago, that… the first year you lose someone is the toughest for a lot of things. First birthday without them, first holidays without them, first Christmas without them…” Bill shares a bit of insight into why it’s important to honor these heroes. “Everybody is celebrating and you’ve got, you know a loved one you may have bought presents for during the year, you know… what do you do with them now? So, we decided to make this tree, to let the families know that their loved ones aren’t forgotten, the sacrifice they made over the year in the line of duty is not forgotten.
The tree will be lit from now until January 1st, when it will be carefully taken down. From there Bill and his team of volunteers will start remembering those who will sacrifice their lives next year.
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