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The Albany Homeless Enrichment and Rehabilitation Team and others are planning the fourth observance of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day that is set for Friday, Dec. 21.

This year’s memorial will begin at 10 a.m. at the Albany City Hall Plaza, 333 Broadalbin St. S.W.

The event is an opportunity to remember those who died from illnesses or conditions directly related to homelessness.

The memorial event will include a proclamation by Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa, the reading of names and lighting candles for those who have died in Albany and other Linn County communities in 2012, words of remembrance, and a military salute by the American Legion Post 10 Honor Guard.

The Saint Mary’s School Choir will sing. Refreshments will follow.

The observance also is sponsored by the city of Albany, American Legion Post 10, Community Services Consortium, and Samaritan Health Services.

Donations of socks, thermal underwear, stocking caps, gloves, hooded sweatshirts, and gently used coats will be collected for Albany Helping Hands and Signs of Victory shelter guests.

Terry Knoll, the Community Services Consortium’s housing and energy services director, has collected information on those in the community who had passed away since Dec. 21, 2011.

Albany Helping Hands shelter will host a campout starting at 7 p.m. that night. Everyone is invited to spend the night outside at the plaza.

Cocoa will be served and people can roast marshmallows.

The remembrance has been held annually nationally since 1990 on or near the first day of winter, and the longest night of the year.

Democrat-Herald

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