There are at least two opportunities to remember loved ones during this Christmas season in Hot Springs.
Big Time Pizza and Grace of the Pines Hospice have memorial trees up, and the public can make sure their love ones are represented.
At Big Time Pizza, the 12-foot tree on the restaurant’s outdoor, covered deck pays tribute to area veterans, living or deceased. Robert and Mary Davis, owners of Big Time Pizza, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary in Hot Springs, will leave their tree up through February. The veteran recognition, however, will continue all year long.
Anyone interested in honoring a veteran on the tree is encouraged to bring a 5x7 photo of their loved one to the restaurant. The photos will hang on Big Time Pizza’s wall all year, and each Christmas, employees will make sure each veteran has an ornament on the tree with their name on it. Deceased veterans will be represented with silver ornaments, while living ones will be honored with red, white and blue ones.
The first decorations were placed on the tree last Thursday, with the first in memory of the late Gerald Jennings who served as commander of the local American Legion post, said Robert Davis.
“We’re doing this to thank veterans that make this holiday special,” he continued. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be celebrating these holidays.”
At Grace of the Pines Hospice, the public is invited to help place ornaments on a tree honoring those who have passed away. Hospice patients will have pre-made ornaments, while interested individuals who would like to have an “in honor of” ornament for their loved one included can call 745-4967 to reserve one.
The tree will be decorated Dec. 11 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The decorating ceremony is open to the public and will include a program with a blessing, and each name will be read aloud as their ornament is placed on the tree.