WILLSBORO — A Christmas Box Angel now spreads her wings in the Children’s Memorial Healing Garden here to help provide solace to those who have lost youngsters.
“This makes 122 angels,” Christmas Box Angel of Hope Coordinator Lisa Johnson told those gathered to dedicate the statue and garden at the recent event at Willsboro Memorial Cemetery on Essex Road (Route 22).
“Each one is very unique,” she said. “I personally feel the spirit that surrounds each angel comes from the children who have passed.”
Johnson, who traveled from Salt Lake City to take part, said this was the eighth angel in New York state and that one was recently dedicated in Japan to memorialize the children lost in the catastrophic tsunami there.
And another one will be unveiled in December at Newtown, Conn., to help bring comfort to the loved ones of those killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.
Peter Herrick Rowley and his wife, Sandi Lee Craig, lost their teenage son, Craig Austin Rowley, in 1987, when he was hit by an out-of-control car while tending to a garden near a road in Willsboro.
“This is an eventful moment for us,” Rowley welcomed the crowd in the garden. “This event did not happen overnight, but started four years ago when a committee was formed, mostly of bereaved parents. The community has been very generous.
“This is an emotional day for me and a lot of us.”
Lori Provost, who lost her son, Andy, 24 years ago, fought back tears as she said, “We would not be here today if it was not for determination.
“This shows just how important the garden is in keeping memories alive. Our children are up in heaven, and we smile and know they have not been forgotten.
“This statue is for the love I have for my son. I’ll never know why God chose Andrew or the path I have taken.”