ROANOKE, Va. – The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone who is in mourning their loved ones, and fallen heroes are no exception.
Sirens and Salutes, a Buchanan-based non-profit, is remembering those men and women that served their communities with their Annual Fallen Heroes Christmas Tree.
Each year, the organization hangs an ornament on a Christmas tree with each person’s name who was killed in the line of duty.
This year, there are 268 ornaments, including police officers, firefighters, military, K-9s, and even a police horse.
“You don’t really realize how much there are until you see something like this with all their names, each on a single star, it starts to hit home,” said President of Sirens and Salutes, Bill Price.
This year, they’re putting together a second display as a part of Hotel Roanoke’s Fashions for Evergreens.
“We thought it was a great honor to be able to put a 2022 Fallen Heroes tree in the hotel as a part of their tree display,” said Price.
Some stars are representing first responders from our region who were killed in the line of duty this year, like Covington Police Officer Caleb Ogilvie and Bridgewater College Police Officer John Painter.
“They got up just like you and I do each morning to go to work or start their day, kissed their loved one goodbye and they never came home,” said Price.
With two displays this year, Price hopes twice the number of eyes will be able to reflect and remember this year’s fallen heroes.
“I hope that they just take the time to reflect and look at these names that these guys put their lives on the line every day to protect all of us so they should be remembered,” he said.