Ceremony of Remembrance and Candlelight Vigil to be Held to Commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day Aug. 26 in Rockville

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County:

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 13, 2021

The public is invited to attend a Ceremony of Remembrance and candlelight vigil on Thursday, Aug. 26. to memorialize lives lost to overdose or substance use. The ceremony, hosted this year by NBC4 news anchor Doreen Gentzler, commemorates International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event, and is aimed at raising awareness of overdose and reducing the stigma of drug related deaths. Other participants include Congressman Jamie Raskin and State Delegate Kirill Reznick. Songs related to loss and hope will be performed by local musician Tom Blood, accompanied by bass guitarist Chris Marsh.

The Collaboration Council will launch the video, “Remembering with Love” featuring mothers paying tribute to loved ones lost to drugs/substances contaminated with fentanyl. Since 2016, more than 60 percent of overdose fatalities in Montgomery County have been related to fentanyl.

The opioid epidemic and the disease of substance use disorder have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In Montgomery County, opioid overdose deaths increased by 29 percent in 2020 from the previous year.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at Memorial Plaza, located at 101 Monroe Street (terrace between Executive Office Building and Circuit Court) in Rockville. A resource fair featuring substance use prevention and treatment information will be held at 6 p.m. Family members and friends will remember loved ones and light candles in their honor.

Those wishing to have a loved one memorialized in a commemorative photo display can submit a photo (an individual photo with no one else in the photo) to
https://montgomerycountymd.seamlessdocs.com/f/IOADSOUL2021 The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, Aug. 24. The outdoor exhibit will be on display until Sept. 30.

The event is hosted by S.O.U.L. (Surviving Our Ultimate Loss), in partnership with Montgomery County, the Circuit Court’s Adult Drug Court, the City of Rockville and the Collaboration Council.  S.O.U.L. is a grief peer support group comprised of mothers and their families who have lost a child to substance use.

Free parking is available in the jury parking lot located at the corner of East Jefferson and Monroe Streets.

For more information, email soul2021ioad@gmail.com or call 301-514-3546.


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