The Cape Coral Police Depart-ment's Annual Candlelight Cere-mony will honor lost loved ones.
Hosted by the department's Victim Assistance Unit, the event takes place Thursday at 7 p.m. at the police headquarters. In its fourth year, the ceremony aims to remember family and friends who have died through whatever circumstances, according to Patricia Lucas, with the Vicim Assistance Unit.
"It's just a ceremony so that we can convey to the family members that we have not forgotten them," she said. "It is to thank them for allowing us to come into their lives at a very difficult time."
Annually, the Vicim Assistance Unit is involved with 100 to 125 cases. Lucas explained that the incidents can range from suicides, homicides and traffic fatalities, to even natural deaths.
Approximately 125 family members attended the ceremony last year.
"We're expecting somewhere in that area this year," she said.
The ceremony will feature speeches by the police chief and chaplain, and the Honor Guard will be in attendance. There will be a lot of music and poetry, and candles will be lit for those who have died.
"We ask them to bring a framed photo of the loved one to be placed on a table in the lobby," Lucas said, adding that the photos return home with the family.
Prior to the ceremony, light refreshments will be available in the lobby, along with a time to socialize. Local support groups will be on hand to talk to any family members or friends who would like to.
The ceremony, which will start at about 7:30 p.m., lasts for approximately an hour.
"We try to keep this uplifting and hopeful," she said.
Anyone interested in attending to honor a lost loved one is encouraged to call the Cape Coral Police Department's Vicim Assistance Unit to RSVP for the ceremony at (239) 574-0653.
The Cape Coral Police Department is at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd.