The event ushered in over 50 families as they paid tribute to loved ones lost by placing paper doves on the memorial tree after it was lighted.
“This celebration is very important,” said J.P Di Troia, president of the U.S. Columbarian. “Life goes on, you have to live on and continue, yes it’s hard but it’s part of the grieving process.”
The program featured Christmas songs, sung by Andrew Anton, Boy Scout Troop #427, who presented an Eagle Scout project to David Kueber, Girl Scout Troop #4311 based in Maspeth and a speech by Emily Nieman, a certified bereavement counselor.
“Bereavement is a hard topic especially this time of the year, trying to give somebody a little bit of hope, that’s what this memorial does,” Nieman said. “It’s a wonderful cause to be part of.”
Irene Romero of Jackson Heights has attended the memorial for four years now. She along with her father, her brother, sister and sister-in-law paid memorial to her late mother and husband, who are both resting in the crematorium.
“We would not miss this for anything,” she said.