Tinsel Trail tree honors fallen Huntsville police officers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Friday evening, families in Huntsville were talking a walk downtown to see hundreds of decked-out Christmas trees. One tree at this year’s Tinsel Trail honors fallen Huntsville police officers. As the lights were flipped on, Huntsville police officers paid tribute at a tree lit up in blue. “We don’t have anything for Christmas,” Huntsville police Lt. Michael Johnson said. “So, this is a special time where family members use the symbolism of the tree and the ornaments they hang.” Families hung 11 ornaments, each one is a fallen officer who died while protecting and serving in Huntsville. “In 2007, he passed away on December 14th. Right before Christmas,” Emily Freeman said. Over ten years later, and Freeman says her father William is very much on her mind during the holidays. “I dunno if I’d say easier, it’s a lot easier when we’re all together,” Freeman said. One night after a Huntsville officer was reportedly shot at on Thanksgiving. “Anything can happen at any time,” Lt. Johnson said. Families and Huntsville city leaders say they know the danger of the job, but they’re happy knowing families visiting the Tinsel Trail can see their loved ones on the blue tree.
With a few last-minute tweaks and Teresa Foley-Batts’ tree was ready. “It meets my expectations, because mine is kind of high,” Foley-Batts said. She’s decorating a tree for the Winning Foundation. She joins a long line of around 300 trees on display at this year’s Tinsel Trail in downtown Huntsville. “It’s really nice to just walk around, look at the lights and get in the Christmas spirit,” Downtown Huntsville, Inc special events coordinator Autumn Nelson said. The Tinsel Trail is open now through New Years Day at Big Spring Park.