A Virginia firefighter is honoring fallen heroes in a special way this holiday season.
Suffolk resident Bill Price is using the Christmas holiday to pay tribute to the 214 law enforcement officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty this past year by writing their names on blue and red stars and hanging them from a white Christmas tree that stands in his yard.
Price, along with his wife, counted the names of the fallen by watching the news. The names also include anyone who died from 9/11 related illnesses or injuries, WAVY reported.
The couple decorated and displayed the “2017 Fallen Heroes Tree” on Thanksgiving.
Price, who has been a firefighter for 25 years, said the tree was an act of remembrance.
“We need to be remembering these people and respect what they have done and what they do everyday,” Price told WTKR.
“It’s a moment to pause and reflect and remember,” he said, adding that the names of those on the tree “gave their lives protecting their communities.”
Price explained that he also wanted to remember the families of the fallen because for every star, there was a family grieving.
“Firsts are hard when someone dies,” Price said. “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,” he added.
Price said anyone is welcome to come and take a look at the tree.
The firefighter said he has already had visitors come by to see the names on the tree.
“I have had police officers pull up at 2 a.m. and pay their respects and look at some names,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Price said the tree would remain lit 24 hours a day throughout the holiday season until Jan. 6.
The “Fallen Heroes Tree” is a touching way to remember those who died while on duty, and we salute Price for his compassion.
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H/T Fox News