Ceremony provides a moment for families to finally grieve together

Sunday's poignant memorial service at First United Church in Truro was an emotional private service in touching tribute to the lives lost in the tragedy one year ago.

It was a chance for some of the family members to take a moment to grieve together in this type of setting for the first time since the events of last April.

The rose ceremony, in which white roses were placed as the names of each of those being remembered was read aloud, was especially moving.

Family members in attendance were too emotional to speak afterwards, but Premier Iain Rankin and one of the ceremony’s co-organizers, each took a moment to reflect on what the event meant for those attending, and for all Nova Scotians.

Denise Burgess taught at the same school where Emily Tuck was a student, and another student lost their father and stepmother, an example of how the tragedy has affected so many in the tight-knit communities touched by what happened.

Not all family members were able to attend because of pandemic restrictions on gathering. Some also live outside the province and outside Canada, where restrictions have prevented them from travelling to Nova Scotia, but with the service being live-streamed, they had an opportunity to watch online.

The memorial was another step in a long journey towards healing, one which is not over.

As we get closer to the beginning of the inquiry into the tragedy, many hope it will bring the answers they still seek.

The lives lost are also being remembered at a special memorial walkway at Truro's Victoria Park.

Along the pathway are tributes painted on rocks honouring each person who lives were cut short.

There's also a memorial sculpture at the beginning of the trail. The path was open to the public at the beginning of the week but was closed for several hours on Sunday, so family members could walk and remember in private.