The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is inviting everyone in the county out to the 2023 ‘Celebration of Life’ event – this year’s ceremony that’s held annually to remember those who died in traffic-related incidents in Guilford County during the preceding year.

This year, the department will be honoring the lives of those lost in traffic-related incidents in calendar year 2022.  The department will do so – as it has in past years– by holding a tree lighting ceremony.

“Your presence and support are important as we unite to remember and cherish their lives,” the open invitation to the public reads.

The Celebration of Life, which will take place on Friday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m., will last about an hour. It will be held outside the Sheriff’s Department’s administrative headquarters – the Otto Zenke Building at 400 W. Washington St. in Greensboro – where Sheriff Danny Rogers is expected to speak in memory of the lost lives.

The ceremonies are emotional each year as deputies read off the names of those who died in car crashes and other traffic-related incidents.  During the event, there’s a light on the tree for each of the deceased – representing the preservation of the person’s memory.

 The ceremony also serves as a powerful reminder to citizens to wear their seatbelts and not drive after drinking – something that is all too common in the holiday season.

Guilford County often ranks high in traffic deaths compared to the rest of the state. In 2021, Guilford County – the third largest county in the state – ranked second in the state with nearly 100 traffic related deaths.

That year, there were 1,756 traffic deaths across North Carolina.