Mayor Sheldon Neeley lights holiday trees at Flint Development Center, Flint City Hall

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FLINT, Michigan—Mayor Sheldon Neeley today continued his tradition of lighting dual holiday trees in celebration of the season, although the events were significantly different this year to reinforce the importance of adapting traditions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“This year truly reminds us that it is the spirit of the season that is most important,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “Even if we cannot gather together, we can and should celebrate. I invite all residents to explore our city. See the lights at City Hall and Flint Development Center, check out the colorfully illuminated arches on Saginaw Street, tour our neighborhoods filled with twinkling displays and experience the magic of this season in our city.”

At Flint City Hall, three trees were lit. Two honor and remember the City of Flint’s heroes who died in the line of duty: one in blue to honor Flint’s fallen police officers, one in red to honor Flint’s fallen firefighters. A third massive evergreen is lit in white to celebrate unity and peace.

“Today and every day, we should honor those who choose to dedicate their lives to public safety,” Mayor Neeley said.

Mayor Neeley also continued his tradition of lighting a community tree. Again, the towering pine in front of Flint Development Center is decked in lights. This community tree lighting has long been a tradition for the Neeley family and has continued as part of Mayor Neeley’s annual holiday celebrations. 

Mayor Neeley also invited all residents to take a moment to pause and remember the 11 police officers and 10 firefighters who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to the residents of the City of Flint:

Police Officer David Lucious Williams 

Police Officer Owen David Fisher 

Police Officer Leslie Dean Keely 

Police Detective Alton Fritcher 

Police Detective Sergeant James McCullough 

Police Officer Neil Krantz 

Police Officer Gerald Leach 

Police Detective John Wopinski 

Police Detective Sergeant Matthew Hauer 

Police Officer Avera M. Hudson 

Police Detective Sergeant Caleb Embree Smith 

Fire Chief William Fenton

Fire Lieutenant Fred Austin

Firefighter Delbert Eckley

Firefighter Orval Mullholand

Firefighter Robert Doll

Fire Captain James Whitten

Firefighter Roger Campbell

Firefighter Mathew Young

Firefighter Brad Lennon

Fire Lieutenant John Voorhees

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