We Remember Those We LostThis is the 25th time that we have remembered those who passed away in Cleveland. What began with a few advocates shivering on Public Square and protecting themselves from the wind remembering a handful of people who died over the past year has grown to a large vigil with 175 people attending every year. We join over 100 other cities with similar memorials on the first day of winter. This year we were joined by State Senator Nina Turner (pictured above) who was moved by the emotion of the event. We also had Rabbi Joshua Caruso of Fairmount Temple and Rev. Joan Gattuso from Unity Greater Cleveland who both said a prayer from their faith traditions. Deacon Bill Merriman of St. Patrick's Catholic Church welcomed us and said a prayer to remember those had frequented the meal site, but had left us this year. There were a number of homeless people who added names to the list and it was comforting to have other social service providers in attendance. Thanks to William Gilmore for saying a few words and staff from Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Our old staff person and current CSU social work student finished the sombre evening with a song.
Here are the list of names we read. These are names from the community of individuals with some experience with homelessness who passed away in 2011.
Alonzo "Sonny" Taylor
Hung Van Dang
Friends of Homeless People who passed
All will be missed and we honor those who left us over this last year. We believe it brings some level of dignity to remember those in death who society has largely forgotten in life.
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**This is not a complete list because the largest provider in Cleveland has decided this year not to provide names of individuals that they know passed away. More on this later.