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Tree is to remind all to be safe

Andrew Giermak

The Suffolk Police Department and the Pilot Club of Suffolk are not hoping for a white Christmas, and they certainly do not want to see a red Christmas.

At least as far as the Safety Tree goes, now in its 28th year, the Police and the Pilot Club want an entirely green Christmas.

The tree, placed for the Christmas season in front of the Suffolk Health Department headquarters on North Main Street, is a reminder for all who see it during the next month to be careful and remain safe on the roads during the hectic, travel-heavy holiday season.

Currently all the lights decorating the tree are green.

During Thursday morning’s lighting of the Safety Tree, Suffolk Police Chief William Freeman said, “For any fatality during the holidays within the city, we will have the sad chore of replacing a green bulb with a red one.”

“We hope it serves as a reminder for all citizens passing through the area to keep the holiday season a safe one,” said Jacque Edwards, president of the Pilot Club of Suffolk.

Beginning in 1978, the Safety Tree was initially placed each December on the corner of Constance Road and Main Street.

Since the Hilton Garden Inn began construction in 2002, the tree has now found a new home at the Health Department.

“This is a way of spreading awareness about the need for motorists to drive safely, wherever they go, during the holidays,” Freeman said.