Sheriff’s office pays tribute to fallen officers with 142 ornaments on all-blue Xmas tree
Police officers know what can happen every time they put on that badge. It’s a symbol of law, order, and ultimate dedication in the face of danger. Police officers around the world have shown their solidarity in mourning and support for the families of their fallen brothers and sisters, just like the Boone County Sheriff’s office.
While all the officers who fall in the line of duty are remembered and honored by their colleagues when they’re put to rest, the officers at this local sheriff’s office decided to step up their remembrance during this holiday season. So, inside the Sheriff’s station stands a Christmas tree with 142 blue ornaments, each honoring the life of a police officer who died that year.
Sadly, this idea came from a place of sorrow when Boone County lost Deputy Jacob Pickett back in March. “This was an idea that came to me from three of our communications officers last Friday evening,” Sheriff Mike Nielsen said in a statement.
He found the idea to be lovely and decided to go for it, especially with Deputy Pickett’s passing still fresh on their minds.
It’s evident that Officer Pickett is dearly missed. “[Pickett] was a wonderful officer, and it’s our way of honoring him and the other 136 officers that have been killed this year,” said Joni Scott, Boone County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain, who happened to be vital in coordinating the ornaments for the Christmas tree.
“It means a lot to all of us—we were all very close,” Boone County Senior Dispatch Officer Mike Gideon told WXIN. This closeness is beyond apparent as their voices quiver and crack when mentioning Deputy Pickett.
Today we are celebrating Jake’s birthday. Happy Birthday Jake! We know you are celebrating in heaven. 🎉💙
Scott adds: “That’s a life. That’s a life that matters. That’s a chair that’s empty. That’s a car that’s not being driven. That is an incredible hero that’s no longer walking our streets, so it meant something,” said Joni Scott.
And 142 homes are without a loved one this year, but the tragic, as they were described, events that led to Officer Pickett’s, and others like him, passing brought the surrounding community even closer together. Not only that, Nielson believes the idea is “A great way to honor Jake and all those that have paid that ultimate sacrifice. We will never forget.”
Deputy Jacob Pickett lives on in the hearts and minds of the community. While it’s clear that everyone misses him very much, he died a hero one that was not, and will not While some could say the cycle is a cruel one, it is at the very least somewhat fair from what I’ve seen.
See the heartwarming tree below:
HONORING THE FALLEN: This Christmas tree has 137 blue ornaments – each one honoring the life of an American police officer who died in the line of duty this year 💙https://cbsn.ws/2GcFg6r
Posted by CBS News on Tuesday, December 11, 2018
You may also want to watch this video
Mom chats with soldier son online—then freaks out when she sees a man sneaking into her house