BY JON CRONIN
Glendale residents and local firefighters celebrated an annual Christmas tree lighting by memorializing fallen firefighter William Tolley at the Fred Haller Triangle.
On Dec. 10, the crowd—which included PS 113 students, the school’s glee club, the Queens Dance Academy and Santa Claus—were joined by Tolley’s firehouse colleagues at Engine 286/Ladder 135, also known as the Myrtle Turtles, to celebrate the holiday season with songs, dance, the decoration of the tree and dedication of a memorial stone with Tolley’s photo.
The firefighter lost his life on April 20 while battling a blaze in Ridgewood. In an announcement after the ceremony, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) stated that Tolley enjoying taking part in decorating the Glendale tree each year. This year, the lighting was held in his memory and a new tree was erected that will henceforth be known as the “Tolley Tree.” The councilwoman stated that Tolley’s brother and friends were there to celebrate the tree lighting and memorial.
“Every year, this tree lighting is incredibly special,” Crowley said. “But this year held extra meaning. Firefighter Tolley dedicated his life to protecting this community, and so it’s only right that we dedicate this to him. My deepest thanks to the Fire Department, firefighter Tolley’s family and everyone who makes this ceremony so wonderful each holiday season.”