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Annual Candelight Vigil at Grand Rapids Angel of Hope Memorial Park

by Jessie Hawkins

Annual candlelight vigil at Grand Rapids Angel of Hope Memorial Park is Friday, Dec. 6

The Angel of Hope Memorial Park (Christmas Box Angel Monument) in Grand Rapids is part of a national and international network of memorial parks that provide a place of comfort and hope to parents and family members who grieve the loss of a child.

The park holds an annual candlelight vigil each year on Dec. 6 in celebration and remembrance. This year it will be Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at 7 p.m. followed by a reception at the YMCA.

There are over 100 such parks in existence. The initial memorial statue and subsequent memorial parks were inspired by the book “The Christmas Box” by the author Richard Paul Evans.

In June of 2009 a small group of community leaders met and discussed the dream of locating an Angel of Hope statute in Grand Rapids. It would provide a special place of comfort and peace to families who grieved the loss of a child.

Through the support of many, including individuals, organizations, businesses and the city, the Angel of Hope Memorial Park was dedicated on Oct. 17, 2010. The park is located on the south bank of the Mississippi River at SE 1st Street and Second Avenue.

Placed at the base of the angel are granite pavers inscribed in memory of children who have died.

For more information, contact Bobbie McInerney, 218-259-0008, garybobbiemc@gmail.com or Vickie Rassmussen Wilcox, vrasswilcox@hotmail.com.