A vigil of hope

Sam McNeish
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Ceremony to remember victims of drunk driving

AMHERST Helping victims deal with tragedy is the motivation behind a candlelight vigil of hope and remembrance being hosted by the Amherst Bordertown Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving on Sept. 23.

A vigil of hope

AMHERST Helping victims deal with tragedy is the motivation behind a candlelight vigil of hope and remembrance being hosted by the Amherst Bordertown Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving on Sept. 23. This is the first one of these weve held in Amherst and its something we do on behalf of those family who have lost loved ones through impaired drivers, Bill Whitman, president of the Bordertown Chapter said. Its to honour the loved ones that have been lost, he added. The idea has been done for years across the country. Participants bring tributes they have written and a photo to the vigil and each person will have a candle lighted in their memory by a family member and the tribute read as part of the ceremony. The inaugural event is being hosted at the 1st Baptist Church, an event Whitman hopes can become an annual event. Const. Francis Smith, the community relations; officer for the Amherst Department, said dealing with tragedies like these are difficult, including the officers who must make first contact with the families and give them the tragic news. Since the Bordertown Chapter was formed in Amherst, the Amherst police have been strong supporters of the cause. This (vigil) is a great way for them to express their grief and at the same time receive support from people who know to give that proper support, Smith said. The people who attend these events are emotional. But, getting to spend time with others in similar situations and really, hosting a memorial to them, is special, he added. For Whitman, who along with Smith recently attended a vigil in Moncton, N.B., said the emotions run high, but to have as many as a dozen people give you a hug afterwards and say thanks, shows they are making a difference. The vigil begins at 7 p.m. and all those wishing to participate are asked to attend. smcneish@amherstdaily.com The following is a brief description of what the various candles and their colours depict: Red candle For courage Yellow candle Vision Violet candle Humility Orange candle Loyalty Green candle Fellowship Blue candle Service What - Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance When - Sunday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. Where - 1st Baptist Church Opening Prayer- Rev. Byron Corkum Special Guest Margaret Miller, national president of MADD Speakers Margaret Miller, national president of MADD, Susan McAskill, MADD manager for Atlantic Region, Amherst mayor Jerry Hallee, Springhill mayor Guy Brown, Minister of Justice Murray Scott, Amherst police chief Charles Rushton and Const. Paul Calder of the RCMP. Music My Friend, Wind Beneath my Wings- Shannon Walsh and Arnold Gagnon Lighting of Candles By family members Tributes Read by Const. Paul Calder, Cumberland Detachment of the RCMP Benediction Rev. Byron Corkum Closing Margaret Miller, national president of MADD Processional Piper, first responders, platform guests

Organizations: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Amherst Bordertown Chapter, Baptist Church Amherst Department RCMP

Geographic location: AMHERST, Moncton

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