City Tree Lighting Honors Fallen Local Heroes

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City Administrator Natasha Henderson presided over the City’s
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday evening, which honored fallen local police and
firefighters. She was accompanied by Fire Safety Officer Christian Perkins, Police Chief James
Tolbert, Council President Kerry Nelson and David and Vida Fisher, the parents of a fallen Flint
Police Officer. Three trees were lit- a City tree with white lights, a tree with blue lights honoring
fallen police, and a tree with red lights honoring fallen firefighters.

“During this holiday season, we remember our family and loved ones. As citizens of this
community, we would just like to take the time to honor them,” said City Administrator Natasha
Henderson. Introducing the Fisher family, she said, “We would like for you to be able to put a
face to the parents who have suffered through their child’s unselfishness working in public
safety.”

Christian Perkins, Fire Safety Officer, spoke for the Fire Department:

This tree lighting is symbolic of the bravery and courage that is instinctive among
firefighters, who are willing to walk through a fire to save a stranger’s life. Those
that we honor today lived a fundamental principle that binds us together, that is
“I am my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.” To the families of the fallen, we know
words alone can’t ease the pain of a loss, but perhaps it helps a little bit to know
the firefighting family has and always will honor your loved ones with prayers
and our gratitude. To the families of James Whitten, Roger Campbell, Matt
Young, and Brad Lennon: Rest in peace my fellow brothers.

“We are here to honor the men and women of public safety, but specifically those in the Police
and Fire Departments who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Chief James Tolbert. “These are the
men whose shoulders we stand on.”

David and Vida Fisher, whose son Owen Fisher, a Flint Police Officer died in a traffic accident
while on duty on July 16, 2005 were present to address the audience.
“Our son Owen was killed in the line of duty ten years ago. A native of Flint, he loved his job and
was doing exactly what he wanted to do: serving his community. Let us remember all eleven
Flint Police Officers who have been killed in the line of duty since 1921,” said Fisher.

Vida Fisher is a trustee of the Michigan Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors. She informed
the audience that those who wish to commemorate the sacrifices of police officers can place a
blue light in their window.

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Kristin Moore

About the Author:

Kristin Moore is the Public Information/Communications Director for the City of Flint. She spent years working as a TV news reporter and anchor in and outside of Michigan. A Flint native, Kristin is excited to now be part of the team working to move Flint forward!
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