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Lutheran Hospital holds Remembrance Tree event

On this Veterans Day weekend many people gathered at Lutheran Hospital which is most of the time a place to get surgeries, operations and treatments. For the 10th year, healing is being provided in a different way by including some holiday cheer with their Remembrance Tree event.

Posted: Nov 11, 2018 5:48 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2018 6:29 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Leona Lautsenhiser lost her husband in 2016 the day after Christmas.

This is her as well as her family's second year attending the Lutheran Remembrance Tree event for families who are mourning during the holiday season.

"It just gives me a chance to keep remembering him, my parents, my in-laws, the baby I lost, and my husband's twin sister that he lost when he was four. it's just a good way to remember them every year," Lautsenhiser said.

She shares this space with many others here who have ornaments in honor of their loved ones, and said it helps to be with others who've gone through the same thing.

"You all have something in common that you can talk to each other about," she added.

The display offers the entire community a way to honor loved ones who are gone, but not forgotten.
There's ornaments honoring fallen armed forces, fire and police departments, organ donors and a tree dedicated to children.

"We have a children's activity center where they can go in and write their memories of their loved one that has died,"  Nurse Sherry Gephartcotner said.

Ornaments remain on the trees until after the New Year.

"Every year has grown a little bit bigger and better. Last year we had approximately 400 ornaments put on the tree, so I look for that many this year," Gephartcotner said.

When it's done, the ornaments will be picked through the first and second week of January.

The Remembrance Tree Observance is hosted by Lutheran Health Network Bereavement Services and the Forget Me Not Program.

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