Angel of Hope
is a rare gift that, if we are lucky, comes to us with the power to heal our lives. I've come to know that the deepest sense of hope often springs from the hardest lessons in life. It is in the darkest skies that stars are best seen...perhaps it is divine irony that within the darkest moments we are capable of revealing the greatest light, demonstrating what is best with humanity.
Richard Paul Evans
On October 21, 2012, the Children’s Memorial Park Angel of Hope dedicated an Angel of Hope Statue in the park located on the south shore of Silver Lake in Virginia, Minnesota.
The beautiful autumn day and memories of our beloved children drew nearly 300 people to this special event. Guests were welcomed by the Children’s Memorial Park Committee chairs Cheryl & Scott Weappa. A moment of silence was taken to remember Milt Mayer who was instrumental in the park construction. Bagpipe music was provided by Kerry Welsh a member of the Duluth Scottish Heritage Pipes & Drums.
Pastor “PJ” Bailey a worldwide missionary and current pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Angora and Calvary Lutheran Church of Orr, provided the opening prayers and blessing of the park, while guest speakers Lisa Johnson from Christmas Box House International in Salt Lake City, and Vicky Wilcox representing the Grand Rapids Angel of Hope Park touched on the significance of the angel statue. Virginia City Councillor, Nevada Littlewolf, commented on the natural beauty of the angel site, the tremendous community support for the angel statue, and the importance of the angel statue to Virginia and the surrounding Iron Range communities.
Shannon Lee Gunderson, a local musician and entertainer, performed a song she wrote entitled Bring Us Hope ~ In The Loving Arms of Our Angel. She also sang a song written by Alabama entitled Angels Among Us. Artistic signing for both songs were amazingly performed by Mitch Carmody.
Our hearts and lives were touched with the closing speech by Mitch Carmody, an acclaimed author and a recognized keynote speaker. Since the death of his son 25 years ago, Mitch has dedicated his life to helping those individuals and families whom are trying to navigate in the uncharted territory of death, dying and the bereavement process. Through Mitch’s compassionate insight and gentle spirit, he touched our hearts and gave us some tools to aid us on our journey.
The dedication ceremony ended with the release of colorful memorial lanterns in honor of the love we feel for our children, the peace we know they have found, and the hope the angel statue represents. Messages from loved ones were written on the lanterns.
The speakers' remarks, Shannon’s song, Mitch’s artistic signing, Kerry’s bagpipe music, the lantern release, and a beautiful autumn day combined for a wonderful welcome of the Angel of Hope Statue to the natural peacefulness of the Children’s Memorial Park.
This honored event will be remembered by many as a day of hope, healing, peace and remembrance.
Children's Memorial Park | 9th Avenue & 3rd Street | Virginia, MN | Ph: (218)749-5642 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org