Annual Tree of Remembrance ceremony takes off in Mentor

MENTOR, OH (WOIO) - It's a ceremony that's been going on for more than two decades that's dedicated to the memory of those who've passed away.

Each and every single ornament that you see on this Christmas tree in front of Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home represents a life.

It's a ceremony that's been going on for the past 27 years at the funeral home which attendees said allows people to keep the memory of their loved ones alive.

Enjoying the holidays hasn't been an easy task for Mary Jane Gomez every since she lost her husband, Nick just a few months ago.

"My husband was a marine. He was 88-years-old and we were married for 64 years," Gomez said.

Gomez is just one of hundreds who showed up Sunday afternoon to keep the memory of their loved one's alive during this holiday season.

"We started this 27 years ago and it gives them a time during the holidays to really remember. Remembering is bitter sweet but we want them to talk about their loved ones," Funeral Home President Nancy Brunner-Sanden said.

One by one the names of the people recently serviced by the funeral home were read aloud.

When family and friends heard the names of their loved one's spoken, they were able to take an ornament a place it right on the tree.

"This is for my dad, James Crosbie. He passed away April 8 of this year," Lesley Crosbie said.

"As people drive down Route 20, especially at night, the tree is illuminated and it really calls to you and allows you to remember all the lives that have gone before us and the lives that have lived," Brunner-Sanden said.

Organizers of the ceremony say more than likely it'll continue next year.

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.