MIDLOTHIAN — The Chaplaincy Department of the Midlothian Police Department will host a dedication of a “Tree of Angels” on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

In 1991, People Against Violent Crime initiated the first Tree of Angels in Austin, Texas. The evening recognized that the Holiday Season is a particularly difficult time for crime victims and their families. This special evening honored surviving victims and victims’ families by making it possible for loved ones to bring an Angel Ornament to place on a special tree, known to most individuals as a Christmas Tree. The Tree of Angels is a reverent forum for the community to remember, include and support crime victims who are a part of our lives and the community as a whole. The tree is a symbol of tragedy, but more than that, the tree symbolizes hope and triumph. The hope that someday another name will not have to be placed on any tree and the triumph of the human spirit. Above all, the Tree of Angels is an expression of love.

In March 2000, the Tree of Angels was officially registered by PAVC with the United States Office of Patents and Trademarks to provide crime victims ownership with their very own special event the first week in December. Governor Greg Abbott has recognized the Tree of Angels with a Proclamation, “Tree of Angels Week” in Texas.

Midlothian’s “Tree of Angels” is the first and only one of its kind in Ellis County. On Thursday, Dec. 8, families and friends of a victim and survivors of violent crime are invited to bring an “Angel” ornament, of their choice or making, to place on this special tree.

A reception will immediately follow the dedication ceremony. Any area resident, who has at any time been victimized by violent crime, or is a family member of a sudden death of any kind, may participate.

The dedication of the “Tree of Angels” and reception that follows, will take place at 7 p.m. at the Midlothian Civic Center, located at 224 S. 11th St. Midlothian.

Please call Larry Atchley, Lead Chaplain, Midlothian Police Department, at 972-775-3333 or larry.atchley@midlothian.tx.us for information or details.