On September 18 a somber memorial ceremony was held at the Cluett Schantz Park in Milton to remember 8 town residents and others who passed away due to the pandemic.
Supervisor Al Lanzetta opened the memorial ceremony.
“The last year and a half has been unlike any other. As we still grapple with the virus that has changed the life we knew, we thought we would pause and remember those we have lost,” he said. “We have had a number of deaths due to the disease of Covid, but we have lost many more to other causes...It was the hope of the Town Board that this service might be one way to collectively grieve and, perhaps, bring some measure of solace to our community.”
Nancy Porcelli and Gail Messina sang ‘Make Me A Channel of Your Peace’, in part:
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness ever joy
Deacon Vincent Porcelli, from St. Mary’s in Marlboro, shared his thoughts on this day.
“Do we ever consider that the people who make up a community are its hands, its feet and its voice. Do we ever consider what our community looks like is what we allow it to look like. Do we ever consider what occurs in our community is what we allow to occur. Do we ever consider our responsibility to address the needs of others who live in our community. Do we ever consider, whether we realize it or not, each of us are God’s gift to one another and we are asked to be good stewards of, not only what He gives to us, but to be stewards of one another because we are God’s gift,” Porcelli said. “We dare not behave with malice toward one another, there’s no room for this kind of behavior in a community that’s unified by faith and love for one another.”
Deacon Porcelli said, “It is OK that we weep but we have to remember now those that we lost have no pain; where they are, the struggle is gone and now at this very moment they are at peace in the presence of God.”
Porcelli also took a moment to thank Ulster County Legislator Tom Corcoran for ensuring that many in the town received the vaccine against Covid-19.
“I can say thank you but what I would want to do is to pray for you and for your kindness, gentleness and the love that you’ve shown us,” he said.
Music was played by Motomi Igarashi while residents received white lotus lanterns, made by Cindy Lanzetta, that were lit and floated out onto the pond in memory of those who were lost.
“You are invited to stay and quietly enjoy the music in reflection or in prayer. Thank you for coming and sharing this time with us,” Lanzetta said in closing the memorial ceremony.