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Bucks County News

Project Blue Light Wreath Honors Law Enforcement’s Fallen

December 8, 2020

Contact: James O'Malley, 215-348-6414, jtomalley@buckscounty.org

Bucks County commissioners and law enforcement officials came together Tuesday in Doylestown to mark the 12th annual lighting of the county’s Project Blue Light Memorial Wreath.

Hung from a third-floor window in the county Administration Building, the wreath is lit with blue lights and adorned with 12 white ornaments – one for each Bucks County law enforcement officer who has died on the job since 1914.

 “This is an important way that we’re able to remember those lost in the line of duty,” said Bucks County Commissioners’ Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia. “We do this every year and it’s an honor to be here every single year.”

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday’s ceremony was an intentionally smaller affair compared to previous years, with just a few officials appearing in lieu of what historically has been a well-attended event.

In brief remarks, District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub expressed gratitude for those who serve in law enforcement.

“We tend to take our men and women in blue who protect and serve us every day, our law enforcement officers, our peace officers, for granted,” he said. “They never ask for thanks. They never ask for appreciation… They just go about their business every day to make sure we can go about ours.”

New Hope Borough Police Chief Michael Cummings, who was recently chosen as president of the Police Chiefs’ Association of Bucks County, suggested those looking to show their appreciation could incorporate a blue light into their holiday decorations or outdoor lighting.

“An additional part of the lighting of the wreath is to ask the public to also become involved in this program,” Cummings said. “This will allow families of fallen officers who drive by to know that we’re thinking about them, and let the officers who are on duty today know that the community supports them.”

The ornaments on the wreath honor:

  • Doylestown Borough Constable Henry H. Kolbe, 1914
  • Bucks County Sheriff Abram L. Kulp, 1927
  • Dublin Borough Police Chief Eli Myers, 1965
  • Bristol Township Police Detective George F. Stuckey, 1972
  • Bensalem Township Police Officer James K. Armstrong, 1975
  • Bensalem Township Police Officer Robert N. Yezzi, 1980
  • Bucks County Deputy Sheriff Thomas A. Bateman, 1986
  • Bucks County Deputy Sheriff George M. Warta Jr., 1986
  • Bucks County Park Ranger Stanley E. Flynn, 1993
  • Plumstead Township Police Officer Joseph E. Hanusey III, 2002
  • Newtown Borough Police Officer Brian S. Gregg, 2005
  • Middletown Township Police Officer Christopher C. Jones, 2009

Also in attendance Tuesday were Bucks County Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo, Upper Southampton Township Police Chief Ron MacPherson and Bensalem Township Public Safety Director Fred Harran.

MacPherson preceded Cummings as president of the Bucks County Police Chiefs’ Association. Harran currently serves as its chairman.

Project Blue Light is a nationwide observance begun more than 30 years ago by Dolly Craig of Philadelphia.

In 1988, Craig placed two blue candle lights in the window of her home: one in honor of her son-in-law, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Gleason, killed in the line of duty 1986; and one for her daughter Pam, Gleason’s wife, who died in an auto crash in 1988. The couple had six children.

Craig wrote of her simple gesture to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) an organization dedicated to families of fallen officers, which helped the idea take hold nationally.

The wreath in Doylestown will remain on display throughout the holiday season.