Homeless dead to be honored with vigil

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Photo courtesy of IDignity

The homeless population doesn’t get the luxury of memorial services most of the time. That’s why IDignity and Homeless Services Network hold an annual vigil to honor the men and women who died in a homeless shelter or without a home.

The vigil is held just three days prior to the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, which, according to IDignity, is meant to symbolize the struggles that nighttime has on the homeless population. Names of the homeless who died in 2018 will be read during the candlelight vigil at St. James Catholic Cathedral at 215 N. Orange Ave. on Dec. 18. The event is open to the public and in past years has brought community leaders such as Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and former police chief John Mina. The vigil begins at 10:30 a.m. and a reception will follow.

“It is important to speak the names and remember those who, although less fortunate than some, were part of our community and deserve to be acknowledged,” said the sexton of Orlando’s Greenwood Cemetery, Don Price, in a press release. “Someone once said, that everyone dies twice: first, when you take your last breath, and second, when your name is spoken for the last time.”

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