Thousands pay their respects to Sgt. Rollin' Nolan

Hollywood, MD- Nolan Scully was a little boy who made a big impact. On Thursday, Feb. 9 the Scully family welcomed visitors who came to pay their respects at A Life Celebration at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department. The 4-year-old Leonardtown boy lost his courageous battle with cancer Feb. 4. His family shared his journey on the Nolan Strong Facebook page, which has more than 100,000 followers.

Despite having support from around the world, the strongest support is right here in Southern Maryland, particularly among first responders. Area fire trucks and police cars are draped with black bunting to honor Nolan. The flags outside of the Hollywood Fire Department are flying at half-staff. Even a fighter jet from VX-23 at NAS Patuxent River bears Nolan’s name. The outpouring of support from the local community is immeasurable.

Thousands waited patiently for up to two hours on Thursday to offer their condolences to Nolan’s family. He died from Rhabdomyosarcoma; rare soft tissue cancer. Nolan’s spirit filled the room where mourners gathered. From the montage videos playing with pictures of Nolan and his infectious smile to Nolan’s two most prized possessions greeting visitors; his ride-on fire truck and police motorcycle.

Throughout the crowd you could see the community donning their yellow #NolanStrong T-shirts or wearing red in his honor; Nolan’s favorite color. Nolan was also honored with a casket watch. Two firefighters or police officers stood watch over his red casket—a privilege often only given to officers who died in the line of duty.

Nolan’s family wore shirts that read “Make childhood cancer extinct #NolanStrong” with a picture of Nolan’s favorite dinosaur, the Ankylosaurus.

Nolan, the son of Jonathan and Ruth Scully, was a happy and loving child, even through the tough months of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He always had a smile on his face. In his obituary, his family recalled that Nolan never once complained or cried about his cancer treatment.

Nolan wanted to be a police officer and was nicknamed Sgt. Rollin Nolan. He was sworn in for the first time by his “Boss”, Mr. Richard Ross, Police Commissioner of Philadelphia, PA. Nolan would get on his portable radio at night to talk to his “Boss” and share the “action” from that day. And Nolan loved police motorcycles and firetrucks. He was a true boy in the sense that he loved anything with wheels.Nolan’s second passion was dinosaurs. Jurassic World was his favorite and he loved sharing his knowledge of dinosaurs.

But more than dinosaurs and trucks, Nolan loved his family. His older sister, Leila, was his best friend. He loved “slimy” kisses from his baby brother, Brayden. Nolan loved helping his dad with yard work. And he loved his mother. Nolan would tell his mother he loved her more than all of the police cars and firetrucks in the whole universe.

Nolan’s life was short but his legacy will have a lasting impact on so many.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, Feb. 10 at 11:00 a.m. by Reverend David Beaubien at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 22800 Washington Street in Leonardtown. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made in Nolan’s honor to: The Hope for Henry Foundation, 2440 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20007 or

You can also follow Nolan’s Facebook page

Contact Joy Shrum at

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