Tree Decorated In Honor Of Fallen West Valley Officer
SANDY, Utah – Every year at the Festival of Trees, hundreds of trees are donated, often in memory of loved ones who have passed away. This year, one tree stands tall as the family of Cody Brotherson supports the family of Officer David Romrell.
The tree was proudly displayed for Officer Brotherson, a West Valley City police officer killed two years ago by three teens fleeing police in a stolen car.
The tree was decorated in red and blue, along with some of his favorite items.
“This year we’ve got motorcycles because he loves motorcycles,” said Jenny Brotherson, Cody’s mother. “We have (motorcycles) that actually look identical to his first bullet bike.”
It was a family tradition all of Cody’s life, and has taken new meaning since his death.
“Every year since he was born we’ve come to the Festival of Trees,” said Jenny. “When he was killed we decided we were going to do a tree in his honor every year.”
Two nights ago, Jenny got the news that another officer had been killed. Officer Romrell had been hit by two burglary suspects who were attempting to escape the scene of a crime.
“The first thing I thought of was that moment when you get told,” said Jenny. “When you open the door and there’s a ton of police officers and you know what that means.”
The similarities between the officers’ deaths was difficult for the Brotherson family to comprehend.
“Yesterday was a little bit rough,” said Jenny. “There are just so many emotions.”
Both officers were run down. Both officers were the first in their departments to lose their lives in the line of duty. Both officers left behind families who now suffer a great loss.
“I want (Officer Romrell’s family) to know that we love them and they are definitely in our thoughts and prayers,” Jenny said through tears. “From his parents, to his wife, to his little girl that will only know him through memories, siblings – we just want them to know that we support them.”
Jenny said she did not have any advice for Officer Romrell’s family because everyone grieves differently. She just wanted them to know she understands.
As the Brotherson family does everything they can to keep Cody’s memory alive, a memorial in honor of Officer Romrell was quietly displayed outside the South Salt Lake Police Department at 2835 South and Main Street.
“I think everybody needs to remember to thank police officers whenever they see them, because their job is so thankless,” said Jenny. “They need to be thanked long before any of them get hurt or killed.”
The memorial was a solemn reminder that life is precious and the sacrifice given by our police officers is immense.
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