By Adam Pack
The Greenbrier County Angel Tree, now in its 12th year, is up once again at Greenbrier Valley Airport. The tree, positioned across from the entrance to Mi Tequila Mexican Restaurant, is adorned with ornaments paying homage to lost loved ones.
Previously located at the Greenbrier Valley Mall, the tree was moved to the airport several years ago. The tree offers free ornaments to write on to memorialize a passed friend or family member, collecting their memories. Then, the day after Christmas, a candlelight vigil is held, giving those left behind a place to share their memories. Coordinator Roger Honaker has been part of the memorial each year and has added new lights to the tree this week. Lynn Massie has donated some special ornaments for hanging, which are located under the tree for public use.
Airport Director Brian Belcher spoke about the tree and its significance to the community, saying, “We [The Greenbrier County Airport Authority] are always more than happy to have the Angel Tree here. It clearly means a lot to people and we’re more than ready to let area churches put up the tree as well as hold their service later this month.”
During the candlelight vigil, candles are lit in memory of every person who is memorialized on this year’s tree. The vigil will be held in the airport lobby on Monday, Dec. 26, at 6 p.m. and will be officiated by Pastor Kenneth Baker. Candles will be provided.
A flyer at the tree site states, “The Greenbrier County Angel Tree was started in 2011 as a way for family and friends to honor a loved one or anyone who had passed away. By placing an ornament on the Angel Tree, you are keeping their memories alive, as well as honoring them in public. Anyone, no matter where you live, can place as many ornaments on the Angel Tree as you wish. There has never been a charge to hang an ornament on the Angel Tree, nor will there ever be. There are ornaments, markers, and hooks placed under the tree at all times for anyone to use.”
Members of the public are encouraged to come and honor the memory of a loved one by placing their name on the tree and attending the memorial service.