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Candle-lighting ceremony remembers children who have died


Everett Johnson

Evangelical Free Church's Pastor Doug Birky addresses the crowd Sunday night at the Compassionate Friends candle-lighting ceremony.

The group "Compassionate Friends" group held a candle-lighting ceremony Sunday night at Evangelical Free Church to honor children who have died.

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren who left too soon. Candles were lit at 7 p.m. local time.

"The Compassionate Friends is a group for people and families who have lost children," said event organizer Randy Flamig. "We have a candle-lighting service that is worldwide. We do this in remembrance of our kids."

Certain churches usually rotate hosting duties every year. In the past, the Lutheran, Catholic and Methodist churches in Sidney have traded off hosting duties. The Compassionate Friends and allied organizations are joined by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children's gardens, schools, cemeteries and community centers. Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.

"It's a support group," Flamig said. "It's an opportunity for people to plug into others who have the same loss that we have. It's a great support group."


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