Washington, Mo - In June of 2012 a group of bereaved parents shared a vision of a quiet place where parents and families who've lost a child could go to remember their loved one(s) in "Hope" of having a place to heal.
The group came up with the idea of creating a memorial garden with the Angel of Hope as it's centerpiece and on Sunday, October 9th their vision was unveiled with a dedication ceremony.
Memorial bricks makeup the ‘Path of Lost Dreams’ which will help families and other visitors remember and pay tribute to those children whose parents and families must go on without them.
Parents and families who had their child's name or a simple message engraved on one of the bricks gathered as each name was read aloud as parents placed a white rose on the statue to honored and remember their lost loved one.
There are over 100 Angel of Hope gardens throughout the country. Washington is the third community in Missouri with an Angel of Hope Memorial Garden and one of its kind located in Franklin county.
The Angel of Hope Memorial Garden is located on a quiet hill surrounded by tall shade trees and flowers. The bronze angel, with its child face and outstretched wings of hope, measures 4’3” tall and has a wingspan of 5’2”.
If you look closely you can find the word “HOPE” written on the angel’s right wing. The children whom the angel commemorates should be playing, working, and living in our community — now they will be honored at the angel site for generations to come.
The Angel of Hope - Washington, Mo exists entirely through donations. If you would like to make a donation or order a brick visit their website at AngelOfHopeWashMo.com. You can also follow them on Facebook.
History behind the Angel of Hope.
The Christmas Box Angel Statue or the Angel of Hope as it is sometimes referred to, was introduced to the world in the book 'The Christmas Box', a worldwide bestseller and hit television movie by author Richard Paul Evans.
In the book, a woman mourns the loss of her child at the base of an angel monument. Though the story is mostly fiction, the angel monument once existed but was lost in the 1984 Salt Lake City flood. A new bronze statue was commissioned by the author in response to reports that grieving parents were seeking out the angel as a place to grieve and heal.
The first angel monument was dedicated in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 6, 1994. Since this time, 100 other angel monuments have been dedicated across the country with more being built.
The Angel of Hope Memorial Garden is created to be a place of reflection and remembrance for all who have lost a child.