St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood has placed nearly 2,000 blue lights on its exterior walls and outdoor Christmas tree in memory of the four police officers murdered on Sunday, Nov. 29.
“Many of our employees – especially the physicians, nurses, techs, health unit coordinators and registrars in our emergency department – knew these officers as friends and heroic colleagues,” said Kathy Bressler, president of St. Clare Hospital. “We are grieving the profound loss that our hospital and the Lakewood community have suffered as we also remember the families of these officers in our prayers.”
The blue lights at St. Clare Hospital will remain up through mid-January 2010. There are 850 blue lights on the outdoor Christmas tree and 1,000 lights of the same color on the main hospital building.
The use of blue lights is a traditional way to honor fallen law enforcement officers and other peacekeepers. Project Blue Light, which began in 1988, is a national recognition of police officers who have died in the line of duty.
At St. Clare Hospital, Thompson Electric Co. donated the labor to put up the memorial lights. “We are very grateful for the company’s support during this time,” Bressler said.
Meanwhile, the Franciscan Foundation has established a fund to which the employees of St. Clare Hospital and the rest of the Franciscan Health System may contribute in memory of the slain Lakewood police officers. All proceeds will be given to the officers’ families. The Franciscan organization has about 7,500 employees in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties.