The quiet ceremony was called "Forever In Our Hearts" and provided a community memorial to those people who died during the Shut Down period of the COVID pandemic, when public events such as funerals were not happening.

A list of names was read at the Thursday gathering on the Large Lawn of Sapphire Lutheran Homes on North 10th in Hamilton. As the names were announced, flower petals were dropped on an area in silent memory of those who passed away, whether from COVID or other causes during the shutdown.

The hour-long outdoor service was organized by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital Hospice and Sapphire Lutheran Homes. At 7 p.m. there was an invocation, special readings, music and the recitation of the names of those lost.

Leading up to the evening, Michelle Meyer, Licensed Hospice Social Worker at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, said, "Many in our community haven't been able to mourn the loss of a loved one due to the stress and strife of COVID-19 restrictions, and that's made their loss difficult and lonely. So we wanted to offer the community an event where they can come together to honor someone they've lost, and see that they're not alone."

Marcus Daly Hospice and Sapphire Lutheran Homes thanked the event sponsors - Daly Leach Chapel, Brothers Mortuary, Flower Happy, Super One Foods, Sweat Pea Septic, Yellow Seahorse Recordings and Jeepfisher Films. A video of the evening will be made available. For more information, contact Sapphire Lutheran Homes at 406 363-2800.

memorial service
Director of Community Life at Sapphire, Dominic Farrenkopf, hosted the ceremony. (KLYQ, Townsquare Media)


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