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Blue Light Memorial Wreath ornaments remain at 12


The six-foot blue wreath that memorializes each Bucks County law enforcement officer who has died in the line of duty with a white ornament was lit once again.

For the 10th consecutive year, no new lights were added.

Police, area lawmakers and other county employees gathered for the annual ceremony in the county administration building in Doylestown, where the Blue Light Memorial Wreath was hung Dec. 4, in a ground-floor window. Normally placed on the third-floor, the memorial was moved due to renovations in the former courthouse.

“We all tend to live in a bubble,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub told the group. “And we get to live in that bubble safely, and go shopping, see our kids in pageants, celebrate at office parties and go about our daily lives because of some of the men and women you see arrayed (here). They are keeping us safe every day.”

Upper Southampton Township Police Chief Ronald MacPherson, president of the Police Chiefs’ Association of Bucks County, led the event and Middletown Township Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla gave the invocation.

County Commissioner Charles H. Martin also addressed the gathering.

Although Bucks County police had no on-duty deaths in 2019, more than 160 law enforcement officers died across the country, Martin said.

Calling the wreath, “a real tribute to all of our law enforcement people and their families for what they do each day,” Martin added, “It’s a pleasure to honor those who, when there’s a problem, will rush toward the problem and not away from the problem.”

Project Blue Light is a nationwide observance begun 30 years ago by Dolly Craig of Philadelphia, according to a county statement.

In 1988, Craig placed two blue candle lights in the window of her home: one in honor of her son-in-law, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Gleason, killed in the line of duty 1986; and one for her daughter Pam, Gleason’s wife, who died in an auto crash in 1988.

Craig wrote of her simple gesture to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), an organization dedicated to families of fallen officers, which helped the idea take hold nationally, the statement said.

“Since that time, the blue light has come to symbolize the peacemakers that protect us every day,” MacPherson noted. “In Bucks County we have had 12 fallen officers, including a constable, sheriffs and a park ranger. This ceremony is to honor their memories.”

This was the 11th annual lighting of the Blue Light Memorial Wreath.

Those honored on Bucks County’s wreath are:

Doylestown Borough Constable Henry H. Kolbe, 1914; Bucks County Sheriff Abram L. Kulp, 1927; Dublin Borough Police Chief Eli Myers, 1965; Bristol Township Police Detective George F. Stuckey, 1972; Bensalem Township Police Officer James K. Armstrong, 1975; Bensalem Township Police Officer Robert N. Yezzi, 1980;

Bucks County Deputy Sheriff Thomas A. Bateman, 1986; Bucks County Deputy Sheriff George M. Warta Jr., 1986; Bucks County Park Ranger Stanley E. Flynn, 1993; Plumstead Township Police Officer Joseph E. Hanusey III, 2002; Newtown Borough Police Officer Brian S. Gregg, 2005; and Middletown Township Police Officer Christopher C. Jones, 2009.