This is a week to remember. On Tuesday a subdued ceremony was held in Lower Manhattan and around the country to remember the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on another sunny September morning eleven years ago that left such deep scars on the American psyche.
Tomorrow another quiet ceremony will be held at the Edgartown Lighthouse to remember a different loss, no less profound. It is the eleventh annual Children’s Memorial Ceremony of Remembrance hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum which built the memorial in honor of children who have died. The idea for the memorial first came from Rick Harrington, a well-known former Vineyard resident and businessman whose son’s life was cut short by an automobile accident during his high school years more than a decade ago.
Today granite cobblestones line the base of the Edgartown Lighthouse, each one engraved with the name of a child who has died. The cobblestones are laid parallel to the shoreline and marked by compass points. The working lighthouse shines its beacon high above the stones, symbolically illuminating the darkness for the children. Believed to be the only one of its kind, the memorial has been embraced by people from around the world, and indeed the memorial is for all children. New stones are laid each year, purchased by friends or family members as a donation to the museum.
The ceremony tomorrow is at one o’clock and will include music, readings and remarks. The rain date is Saturday, September twenty-second. All are welcome.
If you cannot attend on Saturday afternoon, no matter. Walk to the lighthouse on any day and read the names and feel the smooth gray granite stones beneath your feet.
And as you stand in the shadow of the lighthouse, a beacon of safety and hope, take a moment to remember all the children who have died.