Festival of Trees Gets Late Entry Honoring Fallen Officer
Nov 27, 2018, 11:05 PM | Updated: 11:06 pm
SANDY, Utah – Hundreds of trees expertly decorated and arranged have filled the convention hall at the Mountain America Expo Center for the 48th Annual Festival of Trees.
It’s easy to get swept up by the tinsel and lights, but most of the trees are decorated for a person. Some of their stories are happy, and some are remembering the legacies left behind. This year, has a late entry that’s pulling on a lot of heartstrings.
“This is a tree honoring Officer David Romrell who died Saturday night,” says South Salt Lake Sergeant Matt Oehler, as he stands watch at the tree.
The tree is a series of three trees, called “Fallen Officers,” which were decorated and donated on Monday. The woman who decorated it was at the expo, decorating another tree, and decided a tree needed to be done for Officer Romrell. She’s the daughter of a police officer and has sons who plan to become officers.
South Salt Lake police found out on Tuesday about the tree.
“It’s been overwhelming, just the outpouring of love and support,” Sgt. Oehler said.
Sgt. Oehler spent his time watching over the tree talking with people about who Officer Romrell was and the legacy he leaves.
“He chose this profession, he loved this profession, he was passionate about public and safety, and I want them to remember them,” Sgt. Oehler said.
There is a lot of sadness and grief being felt by many in the police community because of Romrell’s death. There is still hope in a better future because those same grieving men and women still choose to serve, despite the danger and risks.
Sgt. Oehler says if Officer Romrell were still here and they were mourning another officer, he would want to still show up for work and help the people in his community.
“He’d be going on calls, so you just do it,” Sgt. Oehler said.
The Festival of Trees will be open Nov. 28 through Dec. 1, 2018. All money raised from the festival goes to Primary Children’s Hospital. Last year the festival raised $2.7 million.