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Single, blue lights in some Abilene homes honor fallen first responders

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:05:45 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 24 2013 08:15:26 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Christmas lights are up on houses all around town, but some homes are showcasing special blue lights in their windows.

Blue lights are placed in windows every year around Christmastime in honor of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Just before sunrise, there's a quite peace in the neighborhood near Amarillo and 9th.

Single, blue lights flicker in windows of homes, paying respect to first responders who are no longer with us.

One shines bright at the home of AnneMarie Holder, whose husband, Rodney, an Abilene police officer, was killed during a routine traffic stop in 2010.

AnneMarie said it was her neighbors who started the tradition.

"We had a neighbor down the street, our first Christmas without Rodney, that organized all of our neighbors around us and provided them with a blue hero light and asked them to display them in their window to support us and to honor Rodney," said Holder.

AnneMarie says the support and love surrounds her...literally.

"We can stand in our living room and every window we see, every home around us, has the blue hero light," she said.

The blue light tradition quickly spread from her central Abilene neighborhood to all over the city.

"It shows us what a unique community Abilene is because they continue to remember and to show that they are honoring that service and that sacrifice that they gave," Holder said.

Rodney Holder was with the Abilene Police Department for 28 years and was killed just four blocks away from his home.