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NC Capitol Christmas tree honors lives lost on roads across the state

The tips of balsam fir trees are used to make Christmas wreaths.
File: The tips of balsam fir trees are used to make Christmas wreaths.

The Christmas tree on the state capitol grounds is decorated with 1,798 ornament bulbs to represent each life lost on North Carolina roads in 2022.

Of those, 471 red bulbs on the tree represent the people killed by substance impaired drivers and served as a sad reminder of the sometimes-deadly consequences when people choose to drive while impaired.

Three blue bulbs on the tree represent fallen law enforcement officers, and the 1,324 white bulbs signify all other traffic fatalities statewide.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to eastern North Carolina in 2019 to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of kiddo cuddling, reading, and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.