South Bend takes part in worldwide candle lighting

South Bend, Ind. South Bend took part in a worldwide candle lighting ceremony Sunday in memory of children who have died. The St. Joseph County Chapter of The Compassionate Friends lit candles in Pinhook Park in an effort to honor all children, regardless of age, who have died.

“We don't want anyone to find out how we feel,” said Dorothy Geiger, the group’s co-chapter leader. “Nobody knows how it is to go through a grieving journey, but this way we can share and nobody needs to walk alone.”

The local candle lighting was part of a larger ceremony in which a series of candles are lit in every time zone. As the candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world. The event takes place annually, on the second Sunday in December.

Cathi Walbert has been attending the South Bend ceremony for the last seven years, since she lost her son Cody.

“Every year, it's a wonderful event to remember your children or your family member and coming out here and lighting a candle for them and keeping that alive,” Walbert said. “Every day, you miss them but you know you're really with them all the time.”

According to The Compassionate Friends, the event is now thought to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world.

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