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A Memorable Flower Ceremony

Mark Warren is a dragon boat paddler from Washington, DC who, while attending the Eastern Regional Dragon Boat Association (ERDBA) festival two years ago, decided to stop and pay attention to the flower ceremony honoring and remembering breast cancer survivors. Mark was absolutely taken with the inspiring event.

This year, Mark wrote to Great White North the Canadian festival producers to see whether or not it would be ok to play his bagpipes at the ceremony held recently at Lake Mercer in Princeton, New Jersey. The breast cancer crew captains agreed and sure enough Mark (pictured below) showed up on the finger dock at the appointed time in full regalia with his bagpipes.

The crowd was enjoying the beautiful weather, chatting amiably to one another as the breast cancer crews finished their race and prepared for the on-water ceremony. Suddenly, with the first notes of the bagpipe, there was absolute quiet in the large crowd. Throughout the ceremony there was complete attention to Mark’s rendition of Amazing Grace which, along with the reading of the poem of honor and remembrance, yielded a flower ceremony we will always remember.

Our crew, Against the Wind from Philadelphia was fortunate enough to share the beautiful ceremony with the music of a man who came to understand and honor the story of breast cancer survivors in a memorable way.