PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The holidays can be especially tough for the families of fallen officers, and this holiday season, volunteers have come together to craft 300 wreaths to lay on the fallen officer's graves.
The group said they want to show the families of the fallen officers that while they are gone, they will never be forgotten.
It all began as a small gesture of honor on the other side of the country.
"In 2014, the sister-in-law of a fallen Philadelphia officer wanted to honor those [officers], and she made 18 wreaths for the cemetery where her brother-in-law was buried," said Erin Morgan, coordinator of the Fallen Heroes Arizona program. "There was such an outpouring of support that the following year, it included 274 Philadelphia officers."
Now, volunteers are "spreading the love" in Arizona, with the same gesture.
"This year, I just knew I had to bring it to Arizona," said Morgan. "We're so inter-connected with our cities, that it didn't make sense to do just one city, one county. I had to take over the whole state."
It's just a green wreath with a blue ribbon, and it is not hard to assemble, but it's the gesture and its symbolism that means much more.
"I think it's always important to remember to keep in mind that the officers lay down their lives for us, and at Christmas, their families are hurting, and we need to make sure that they know that we haven't forgotten them," said volunteer Natalie Stahl.
Stahl is the wife of a Glendale Police officer, and she said she wants to be there for the families of fallen officers, knowing that one day, she may need their support.
"It's real hard to watch the families of fallen officers go through what they're going through," said Stahl. "In the back of our minds, as families of officers, we worry if it's going to be us."
The volunteers will lay the wreaths on December 10.