LANCASTER – Hundreds gathered in downtown Lancaster Thursday night to celebrate and honor the memories of lost loved ones.
Hoffmann Hospice’s Light Up A Life ceremony took place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Lancaster Boulevard and Ehrlich Avenue. The solemn evening of remembrance opened with holiday songs performed by the Sunday Night Singers, followed by inspirational words from Lancaster City Manager Mark Bozigian and guest speaker Lisa Solis DeLong.
DeLong is the author of Blood Brothers, which is her story about what life has been like having two sons with Leukemia.
“For those of you who are here this evening living without someone who is precious to you, please know that you’re not alone in what you’re feeling,” DeLong told the audience.
Participants lit candles in memory of lost loved ones, and then the choir hummed softly as the names were read out loud. After the final name was read, organizers illuminated a 20-foot Christmas/Memory tree, each light symbolizing an individual who has touched the life of another.
Benjamin Calderon said he came out to honor the memory of his lifelong partner Lori, who passed away May 31 from cervical cancer. Calderon wore a shirt that featured Lori’s smiling face framed in a heart.
“They read her name, I felt good,” Calderon said.
In describing why the event was so important, Hoffman Hospice Branch Director Roger Doyle said, “It gives us perspective. It tells us that life has a beginning and it has an end, and to live the in-between with everything that you have.”
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