Valley News -

By Jeff Pack

Community members gather to remember friends, family gone too soon


Last updated 12/6/2018 at 11:26pm

Jeff Pack

Becky Knode, Linda Mejia and Karen Harkey address the attendees of the 18th annual Community Candlelight Tribute on the steps of Temecula City Hall.

With dozens of framed photos and mini memorials placed on the steps of Temecula City Hall Sunday, Dec. 2, about 100 members of the community came to mourn and to comfort one another at the 18th annual Community Candlelight Tribute.

An invocation was made by Murrieta Fire Department Chaplain Todd Bradstreet; music was provided by Becky Knode, and proclamations were made by the cities of Temecula and Murrieta.

The evening's guest speakers were Student Venture Clubs' Monty Sharp and Diane Priest of the Inland Empire Umbrella Moms, a new local chapter for mothers who have lost a child that has become a national outreach for grief support.

Jeff Pack

Memorials were set up on the steps of Temecula City Hall, paying respect to family members and friends that were lost.

At the end of the evening, attendees lit their candles and sang along with "Silent Night."

Linda Mejia lost her 18-year-old son some years ago and learned of a need in the community for a time and place to celebrate their loved one's memory.

As a result, she founded the Community Candlelight Tribute 18 years ago.

"I just feel honored to be here for people that are going through this journey of losing a loved one," Mejia said. "It just happens every day in our communities where someone is hurting and there just aren't enough people that reach out and take them in and give that comfort that they need.

"I guess that's been my walk in life," she said.

For more information on how to help or get involved, contact Mejia at (951) 775-5163.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]


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