RichmondCC invites community to honor veterans with Heroes’ Tree

By: Wylie Bell - Richmond Community College

HAMLET – Richmond Community College’s Presidents Club will be honoring veterans this fall with an Our Heroes’ Tree® program at the Cole Auditorium.

Our Heroes’ Tree® is a national initiative that bridges military and civilian communities by honoring the service and sacrifice of U.S. service members and their families. Communities, classrooms, families and groups come together to discover and celebrate the names and stories of family members, friends, neighbors, and others who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. They create remembrance ornaments that are hung on a tree honoring the legacies of American service people.

RichmondCC will hold a special ceremony Monday, Sept. 24, from 9 to 10 a.m. to present the tree and its ornaments to the public.

After the Our Heroes’ Tree® program, the RichmondCC Small Business Center will hold a Lunch and Learn seminar, “Entrepreneur Benefits for Veterans,” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This presentation will target veterans considering starting their own business or those who already own a business. The following organizations will have representatives providing information: North Carolina Military Business Center, Veterans Business Outreach Center, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, and the SBA.

Our Heroes’ Tree co-founder Marlene Lee and Keith Midberry will present “Death, Dying and Grief with a Focus on Honoring Veterans on Their End-of-Life Journeys” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. They will discuss perspectives on death, dying and grief in response to common myths and questions, and explore why and how the unique aspects of veterans may relate to the end-of-life journey. Topics include grief timespan, communication, patriotic symbolism, hospice, suicide and more. This seminar is approved for Continuing Education Credits for the Certified Family Life Educator program through the National Council on Family Relations.

The College will hold several ornament making sessions Sept. 17-21. While on campus, people are encouraged to stop by the College Library and check out a display of resources that RichmondCC has available for veterans, services members, military families and professionals working with these groups.

Hosted in more than 30 states and on U.S. military bases in 10 countries, Our Heroes’ Tree® was created by Marlene Lee and Stephanie Pickup in 2005 to show appreciation for the U.S. Armed Forces. They have worked with RichmondCC to develop the program that will be presented on Sept. 24 and provided an ornament template for people to use to create their ornaments. However, people are encouraged to design their own ornaments.

The tree will remain on display in the Cole Auditorium lobby until Veterans Day on Nov. 11. People can pick up their ornaments the week immediately after Veterans Day when the display ends.

Wylie Bell is the director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.

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Wylie Bell

Richmond Community College