2001 has been a year of loss and tragedy for all Americans, and those who lost personal loved ones during the year gathered last week for a Celebration of Remembrance. For several years, Hospice of the Central Peninsula has sponsored the Celebration of Remembrance so those who have lost a loved one may gather for a moment of reflection to speak aloud the names of those remembered. This is the second year that a Remembrance Tree, in front of the Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna, has been decorated with stars bearing the name of the one remembered. Previously helium balloons were launched containing the names, but due to environmental concerns the symbol of remembrance was changed to a decorative star on a tree. "The idea is that people may gather in celebration and share in the memory of their loved one. The stars allow them to hang out a decoration that will give some joy to people passing by through out the holiday season," said Tom Bodeker, Chairman of the Hospice Board of Directors.
Lois Holleman, sings "Seize the Day" to those who gathered for a Celebration of Remembrance at Christ Lutheran Church
"We silently hold in our hearts memories of the people that shared our lives. We are who we are because of them. To hear their names spoken aloud, and to remember their love and wisdom," said Liz Schubert, Hospice Executive Director, in her closing remarks. "In the North, the star serves as a friendly guidepost. There is a stark, cold beauty that wraps us in peace and understanding. In winter, we have the wisdom to learn from our ancestors. As the fires warm our bodies, the memories warm our hearts. In the company of those who know winter, we are not alone anymore," read Jim Fisher and Sue Bezilla. Memorial Stars for the Remembrance Tree are available throughout the season at the Hospice office on Tyee Street in Soldotna. You may hang the Star yourself, or Hospice volunteers are available to assist you by calling 262-0453.
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