Sunday, September 14, 2008

Area getting its own Angel of Hope

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In Richard Paul Evans's 1993 novel, "The Christmas Box," a young couple befriend their elderly employer. They learn about the young child she lost decades earlier and of a statue she erected in her daughter's memory in a nearby cemetery. The statue depicts a winged, childlike angel, with arms outstretched to heaven.

Since the publication of that novel -- and its adaptation into a made-for-television movie -- individuals and organizations across the nation have erected identical statues in their own communities. The statues have become places where parents who have lost young children to illness or accidents (or whose pregnancies ended in stillbirth or miscarriage) come to mourn and feel a connection with their own "little angels."

To date, 72 angels have been placed throughout the U.S. Every Dec. 6, thousands of people gather at those angels for vigils. Currently, the nearest statue is in a cemetery in West Lafayette, nearly 90 minutes away.

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