On Saturday in the afternoon sun, in a warm garden outside the theater, every wing could have carried a memory.

Hundreds of butterflies were released Saturday in Odessa to honor hundreds of loved ones, as part of Home Hospice’s annual celebration and service at the Globe of the Great Southwest Theater.

Students at Sam Houston Elementary and Burnet Elementary raised butterflies over the last month for the memorial, which annually is open to the public and celebrates the life of names offered by attendees.

Saturday marked Home Hospice’s 13th Butterfly Release and Celebration.

“It’s allowing something that is bottled up inside to come out to just be a little bit more healing,” said Karen Fowler, event organizer and volunteer coordinator with Home Hospice.

Tina Almodova, a teacher at Sam Houston Elementary, said the event helps make the students’ annual butterfly raising project that much more meaningful.

“It’s amazing for them,” she said of the students, while preparing before the start of Saturday’s event. “They get to see the entire life cycle. They get to see that some of them don’t make it, so they understand a little bit about life and death.

“It’s a lifelong learning process, because they’ll never forget it.”

The hospice is sponsoring four symbolic release events this spring. After services in Midland and Big Spring, and Saturday’s memorial in Odessa, a last release is scheduled for today in Andrews.

Families and visitors are invited to the public memorial set for 2 to 4 p.m. at the B&B Building at the corner of SW 13th St. and Avenue E in Andrews.