By Edita Bardhi
East Stroudsburg University held its ninth annual Remembrance Day Ceremony last Friday at Beers Lecture Hall.
The occasion assembled numerous families and friends to honor those who passed away during the 2015-2016 academic year.
“Your loved ones are more than just a name to us,” welcomed Dr. Nancy Weaver chairperson of the planning committee.
“We are all here today to reflect, reminisce, and to remember six ESU students, 25 staff and faculty administrators, 119 alumni, and four special friends of East Stroudsburg University.”
A roll-call named every remembered individual and a chime was rung for each.
“This annual ESU Remembrance Day program recognizes the deep connections as we spend time together on this campus and in this community,” said President Marcia Welsh.
Voices chanted, instruments played, and fingers snapped as students, alumni, staff, and former staffers shared their talents.
ESU’s newly formed a cappella group gave a moving rendition of the Phil Collins’ song, “You’ll Be in My Heart.” Singer and Songwriter Regina Sales performed a solo.
“I have a special connection with some of the warriors lost,” said Keisha Kauffman, vice president of ESU student senate.
“Some of them were close friends of mine and to say these warriors have impacted us all is an understatement. Yes, I miss them and I wish they were able to walk across the stage with me, I wish they were here to talk to, get advice from and to just see them smile but unfortunately, that is not the case.”
She continued, “In times like these, when I get sad or I feel lonely, I think back to the good times that we had. I think about how beautiful they were and it inspires me.”
Attendees were escorted to the weeping mulberry tree dedicated to those who passed away. In respects, everyone distributed a single rose above one of two baskets.
“Why a tree?” asked a student.
Weaver explained, “We selected a place on campus where we thought that when people come to campus, if they just wanted to gather somewhere it’s usually a quiet spot. I also worked with the grounds people to identify a tree that was very unique. That’s the only tree of its kind on the entire campus. And there was just something special about that tree.”
As this year’s ceremony came to an end, people gathered around for a small reception, followed by snacks, fruits and refreshments.
The ceremony will be held again next year.
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