The Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting Dec. 13, 7 p.m., in Friday Harbor

Islanders will gather in Friday Harbor Dec. 13 to participate in a worldwide event.

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting takes place around the world at 7 p.m. local time. The event unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lighted at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor children in a way that transcends all cultural, ethnic, political and religious boundaries.

Believed to be the largest mass candle-lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle-lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died but will never be forgotten.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting started in the United States in 1997 as a small Internet observance but swelled in numbers as word spread throughout the world of the remembrance.

The local candlelight observance will be held on the corner of Spring and Second streets, in front of King's Market, beginning at 7 p.m., weather permitting. A plaque in front of a tree on the corner remembers children who have died. If the weather is too cold or inclement, the observance will be held in the Windermere Real Estate conference room at Spring and First streets.

Samantha Garl of The Compassionate Friends said people can participate by lighting a candle in their home at 7 p.m. Actreses Ann Cozzalio and Krista Strutz will read from part of the play, "Rabbit Hole," in which they both performed for Island Stage Left.

"The reading will resonate with all people who have experienced the death of a child," Garl said. "It should be compelling."

After the observance, there will be cookies and hot cider at Windermere. Garl will read a list of names of children who have died. If anyone would like to add a name to the list, contact her at 378-2760 or e-mail

For more information about The Compassionate Friends, visit

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