Special to The Advocate
The 4th Annual Malden Overcoming Addiction (MOA) Candlelight Memorial Vigil was held on October 7. The event honored 230 individuals who lost their battle with substance use disorder.
The night began with a candlelight walk beginning on the steps of Malden High School. A group of about 150 people marched to the courtyard holding candles in memory of those who had passed. The vigil then moved indoors, where MOA Vice-President and Seven Mile Road Church Pastor Dan Ko opened with a prayer and many people shared stories and memories that demonstrate the impact of this disease on the lives it touches.
Robin, a mother who lost her son Nick, spoke beautifully and powerfully of her son’s struggle and loss. Domenic DiSario and Marco Albanese shared their powerful life stories of addiction, recovery and faith.
Speakers for the vigil also included State Senator Jason Lewis, Malden Mayor Gary Christensen and MOA President Paul Hammersley. Hammersley spoke about his experience, loved ones lost and continued hope for the future.
The most poignant and somber moment came when 230 names were read with a bell being rung by Malden Fire Department Assistant Chief Billy Sullivan after each name, signifying the loss of each beautiful soul taken too soon.
Closing the night, Aaron Reeves played guitar and sang a heartfelt original song written for the occasion, followed by Pastor Ko reciting a closing prayer.
MOA would like to thank everyone who came out for this special night of remembrance.