Christ­mas Mem­o­ries at Adair Park

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Features - Story by MANDIE GOBER

Hol­i­days are of­ten dif­fi­cult for those who have ex­pe­ri­enced the loss of a loved one, or for those who may have a loved one serv­ing in the mil­i­tary. Christ­mas can be es­pe­cially hard. The mem­o­ries flood and the empti­ness seems to swell. You might miss your loved one’s laugh­ter, or the way he or she al­ways bright­ened the fes­tiv­i­ties with the sto­ries they used to tell. You might won­der if the young chil­dren in the fam­ily even re­mem­ber your loved one. For the se­cond year, the Hot Springs Parks and Re­cre­ation Depart­ment is of­fer­ing a spe­cial way for fam­i­lies to honor their loved ones this hol­i­day sea­son. Be­gin­ning Fri­day, Dec. 6, five memo­rial trees will be placed in the Ken­neth Adair Memo­rial Park. The com­mu­nity is in­vited to stop by and adorn the trees with or­na­ments in mem­ory of loved ones who have passed or in honor of loved ones who are on ac­tive mil­i­tary duty. The trees will be on dis­play un­til the first of the new year. “We un­der­stand how dif­fi­cult this time of year can be for any­one who has lost a loved one,” said Ken Ed­wards, main­te­nance su­per­vi­sor.

“Some­times it is lonely when you have loved ones gone for one rea­son or the other, it’s just hard,” Ed­wards said. “We hope that these trees will pro­vide a way for fam­i­lies to re­mem­ber and to honor their loved ones, and will also bring some com­fort to them. If this helps them find a lit­tle peace to get them through we are more than happy to help.” Ac­cord­ing to Ed­wards, the idea stemmed from a con­ver­sa­tion with co-work­ers in the of­fice last year. “We had some­one who had a loved one sta­tioned over­seas and we just started talk­ing about how we could help make sure they knew they were re­mem­bered dur­ing the hol­i­days,” said Ed­wards. “And be­fore we knew it we had over 100 or­na­ments from the com­mu­nity placed in the park and we would def­i­nitely like to see that num­ber grow this year.” The com­mu­nity re­sponse has been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive, said Ed­wards. “We have al­ready started get­ting calls from folks ask­ing if we are go­ing to have the trees again this year. We want to make sure ev­ery­one has a chance to re­mem­ber their loved ones.” The Hot Springs Parks and Re­cre­ation Depart­ment will

host “Christ­mas Mem­o­ries,” a fam­ily friendly tree dec­o­rat­ing event, from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 dur­ing the Gallery Walk in the park at 358 Cen­tral Ave. Parks and Re­cre­ation staff will be on hand, and Santa will make a spe­cial visit. Or­na­ments will be avail­able for pickup af­ter Jan. 2 at the Parks and Re­cre­ation of­fice at 111 Opera St. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 501-321-6871.

Photo by MARA KUHN

Daniel Cantu of Mis­souri City, Texas, hangs an or­na­ment on a Christ­mas tree at Adair Memo­rial Park on Dec. 7, 2012. Cantu wrote her fa­ther-in-law’s name, Manuel Cantu of Malvern.

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