On Sunday, September 30, all Connecticut residents are invited to participate in an event that offers parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends the chance to stand together and remember the babies and children of all ages whom they love and have lost. The 12th “Cherish Our Children Walk” will be held rain or shine, starting at Newington Memorial Funeral Home on 20 Bonair Avenue in Newington, Conn. Registration will begin at 12 noon, and the walk will begin at 1 p.m.
The “Cherish Our Children Walk” is sponsored by the Duksa family and staff at Newington Memorial Funeral Home, Burritt Hill Funeral Home in New Britain, and Fisette-Batzner Funeral Home in Newington. “Our Walk is a chance for people to honor and celebrate the special memories of children, and to help them to know that they are not alone,” explains Diana Duksa Kurz, CFSP, a funeral director whose family owns the funeral homes. “We created this event with a group of parents who had lost children and understand all too well how important support from others who share similar experiences can be to emotional healing.”
At 1 p.m., a bagpiper will lead participants less than a mile from Newington Memorial Funeral Home through Newington Center to the nondenominational “Cherish Our Children Angel Statue” at West Meadow Cemetery on Willard Avenue in Newington. People will be handed a white flower that they may leave at the angel statue, along with a personal note of remembrance. A brief program will be presented including music, a reading of children’s names to be remembered, comments by several parents, and a release of doves. When the walkers return to the funeral home, complimentary refreshments will be provided at the nearby Newington Masonic Temple.
There is no fee to participate in the “Cherish Our Children Walk”, but donations are encouraged to help support the endowed care of the Cherish Our Children angel statue and the memorial site.
In 2002, Duksa family, the funeral homes, and a non-profit organization comprised of bereaved parents installed the 10-foot-tall bronze angel statue to honor the memory of deceased Connecticut children of any age. The statue was inspired by the internationally acclaimed book, “The Christmas Box”, and has become a place where bereaved parents, family and friends come to reflect and find hope.
“Over the years, our gathering has grown to include hundreds of people from throughout Connecticut and beyond. As we bond with the families we serve, we know that sometimes comfort can only be found by meeting others who have lost children and who truly understand the kind of grief that comes with the death of a child,” Ms. Kurz adds. “This event is so meaningful and personal that many families and individuals come and join us year after year.”
For more information about the Sunday, September 30 “Cherish Our Children Walk”, call Newington Memorial Funeral Home at (860) 666-0600 or visit www.duksa.net.