This weekend my friend Linda Spanberger and I took a spin through Springfield’s Washington Park with our focus on the rose garden and conservatory. While walking that direction we discovered a beautiful statue, the Angel of Hope statue that was built in 2008 by the Springfield Angel of Hope, a Non-Profit Group founded by parents who have lost a child.
The foundation raised the funds to pay for and install the angel statue. While the angel in Washington Park is the only in central Illinois there are nearly 100 Angel of Hope Statues in other communities across the country with seven others in the state of Illinois. I was quite amazed when I read that the dedication drew nearly 700 people.
The angel measures 4’3″ tall and has a wingspan of 5’2″. With some careful observation, you can read that the angel even has the word “HOPE” written on the angel’s right wing. The Angel of Hope foundation has over 600 area children’s names the names on a Memorial Wall behind the angel statue.
I have never had the sadness of losing a child, but this statue surely moved me to say a prayer for all those that have.
The angel is based on a statue mentioned in the book the Christmas Box where a mother mourns the loss of her child at the base of a statue. While the story is mostly fictional, they statue did exist and was destroyed in a flood. From the story, parents started coming to the statue for comfort and after it was destroyed the author, Richard Paul Evans provided the funds for one to be rebuilt.
The statue now is a symbol of comfort and remembrance for parents (and loved ones) everywhere. At Washington Park in Springfield they have a remembrance ceremony every December. For more information about the statue and events, log onto http://www.springfieldangelofhope.org/walk.asp.
If visiting the park, take a minute to stop, admire the statue and say a prayer for those that have stopped before and will stop here in the future. God Bless the Angel of Hope.