‘Show Of Respect’

Seventh Annual Memory Tree Dedicated In Falconer

Pictured, from left, are James Rensel, Sue Seamans, DeEtte Dispenza, Brenda Cavallaro, Francelia Kirschler and Jeri Yauchzy. For the seventh year, the village dedicated its memory tree at the community building. Photo by Mallery Rockwell

FALCONER — A ceremony was held Thursday evening at the Falconer Community Building to commemorate loved ones of the community.

Eye on the Future of Falconer committee members Francelia Kirschler, Brenda Cavallaro and Jeri Yauchzy began the tradition of the Memory Tree seven years ago. Each year, individuals pay $2 and write down the name of a special person they wish to honor along with a corresponding message.

The committee makes tags that they hang on a decorated Christmas tree. They choose a different theme for the tree each year, with past themes including stars, angels, hearts and snowmen.

Cavallaro said the group decided to make this year’s theme “Patriotic” because Dec. 7 is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and because of the various disasters that have recently taken place around the world.

“The idea is to place a tag on the tree in honor of someone that’s on display for the whole month of December,” Cavallaro said. “This past year there have been so many tragedies with hurricanes, disasters, shootings and fires. We thought a patriotic theme would be the best theme to embrace this year.”

Falconer Mayor James Rensel spoke about the significance of the Memory Tree at Christmastime and what it means for the community.

“I often think of the family get-togethers and good times we’ve had at Christmas. As years go by, we think of who’s not there, and we have to kind of reinvent Christmas based on who’s there now,” Rensel said. “That’s what this tree is a great remembrance of people from our community who aren’t here anymore. It’s a nice way to show respect to them every year and show that even though they’re not here, we’re thinking about them.”

Sue Seamans, director of the Falconer Public Library, said the tree is meaningful for all ages, including young children.

“Children look at the tree as well,” Seamans said. “Children see the lights and want to know the meaning. I think that’s important for them to know how you honor your loved ones. It’s a very nice tradition.”

Kirschler ended the gathering by reading aloud 111 names of those that line the tree in remembrance. The Memory Tree will be left for the public to see all of December.