NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Blue lights shine across Eastern Carolina.
The lights illuminating from the bulbs on peoples front porches, and even from organizations like CarolinaEast Medical Center.
Many of these blue lights symbolically represent New Bern Police officer, Alexander Thalmann, who died from injuries he sustained in a weekend shooting. The person accused of shooting him, Byran Stallings, was shot and killed by police on the scene.
The blue lights not only represent the loss of Thalmann but also the loss of all the New Bern Police Officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. Prior to Thalmann's passing, two other New Bern Police officers were killed. Carl Mayo J.R. in 1960 who died in an motorcycle accident when responding to a call, and Donald Miller who was shot and killed outside of a hospital in Wilmington in 2001.
CarolinaEast Medical Center Police Chief, Johnny Cahoon, said the hospital is proud to participate, and show their support for all first responders who risk their lives to do their jobs.
"We are illuminating our front entrance in blue in honor of Alexander Thalmann, and to show our solidarity and support for the New Bern Police Department, and all of our emergency personnel and first responders," Cahoon said.
Many homeowners in Eastern Carolina are participating as well. Beth Hicks of Trent Woods is one. Woods has a son who is a firefighter. She says all first responders deserve to be honored and respected.
"Every time one leaves the house for a call you never know if they are going to come back home and so you just send up a prayer for their safety. They are our heroes. And people who go by and see it [the blue light bulb] maybe it will help them think of Officer Thalmann, and to send up a prayer, especially now for his family," Hicks said.
The event has been widely publicized and promoted through Facebook. People across the country are participating: https://www.facebook.com/events/612966082105475/