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As the Flame Goes Out

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For seven years, I had the opportunity to work at a week-long band camp in New Martinsville, WV. On the last evening of the camp, a special ceremony takes place.

The students stand in two circles. Seniors make a circle in the middle and everyone else in a large circle around them. From the outside, a candle is lit. The freshmen pass the flame up to the sophomores. The sophomores pass the flame to the juniors. The juniors pass the fame to the seniors. As each senior receives a flame, they share what they would like to see in the program. After all candles have been lit, the entire marching band blew their candles out together.

As the flame goes out, tears erupt. Hugs are exchanged, and a special moment is shared with everyone there. This piece was written in awe of the mysteriously reverent atmosphere that forms the moment the flames disappear