Peter Bowles

Peter Bowles

With Gov. Andy Beshear requesting Kentuckians to light their houses and businesses green to honor those that have died from COVID-19, Elliott Mortuary is hosting a tree-lighting ceremony Saturday evening.

The ceremony is open to anyone to attend as long as you adhere to social distancing guidelines, said CEO Peter Bowles.

“We’re doing our part in the community to help healing to come,” he said. “That’s what we’re having on Saturday at around 8 p.m., at dusk, to show and give hope.”

Michael Lowery, a staff member at the mortuary, said the reason they want to host this event was rooted in the color greens meaning. Green represents the Word of God and also symbolizes immortality, he said.

“We are trying to show that these people, although they have passed and gone, that we are still looking at them in the light that there will be a resurrection,” he said. “We want to give light to the community and to let them know that this is something we can deal with and show that God is involved in this. Together we can pull through this. That’s one of the reasons we want to have this; we want to give hope to the hopeless.”

Because of the restrictions that have come from COVID-19, Bowles said he understands if people don’t want to physically come to the lighting ceremony, so they will attempt to have a live video streaming of the service. Bowles said it could be found on their Facebook page.

At noon on Memorial Day at Elliott Memorial Gardens, they are holding short service with a song and a prayer. Then they will decorate the graves of veterans, said Lowery.

“One of the things we want to do is look at it from a historical perspective,” he said. “In days past, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day to decorate the graves right after the Civil War. They had decorated all of those who had fallen in battle. In the African American community, it was a day when people would meet and greet one another and talk about their loved ones, and it would be an all-day celebration.”

The tree-lighting ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday at 151 E. Noel Avenue. The Memorial Day ceremony will be at noon Monday at Elliott Memorial Gardens, which is located on Halson Avenue. Both events are in Madisonville.

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