The “Cherish Our Children Walk” is sponsored by the Duksa family and staff at Newington Memorial Funeral Home, Burritt Hill Funeral Home in New Britain, and Fisette-Batzner Funeral Home in Newington. “Our Walk is a chance for people to honor and celebrate the special memories of children, and to help them to know that they are not alone,” explains Diana Duksa Kurz, CFSP, a funeral director whose family owns the funeral homes. “We created this event over a decade ago with a group of parents who had lost children themselves, and since that time, more than 4,000 people have attended this event to stand with others who share similar experiences.”
At 1:00 p.m., a bagpiper will lead participants less than a mile from Newington Memorial Funeral Home through Newington Center to the nondenominational “Cherish Our Children Angel Statue” at West Meadow Cemetery on Willard Avenue in Newington. The Angel statue is surrounded by a garden with hundreds of brick pavers engraved with the names of children who are remembered by their families every fall at this event. Participants will be handed a white flower that they may leave at the angel statue, along with a personal note of remembrance. A brief program will be presented including music, a reading of children’s names to be remembered, comments by several bereaved parents, and a release of doves.
The event will include a special remembrance of Newtown’s young lives lost. “This year, due to the generous donation of J.F. Luzzi and Sons, we added 26 new pavers at the foot of our Angel Statue in memory of the children and their teachers who died December 14 in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” says Diana Duksa Kurz. “We will honor them and offer emotional support to their families who can have a special place to come and remember their loved ones.”
Following the program, the walkers will return to the funeral home and complimentary refreshments will be provided at the nearby Newington Masonic Temple.
There is no fee to participate in the “Cherish Our Children Walk”, but donations are encouraged to help support the endowed care of the Cherish Our Children angel statue and the memorial site.
In 2002, Duksa family, the funeral homes, and a non-profit organization comprised of bereaved parents installed the 10-foot-tall bronze angel statue to honor the memory of deceased Connecticut children of any age. The statue was inspired by the internationally acclaimed book, “The Christmas Box”, and has become a place where bereaved parents, family and friends come to reflect and find hope.
For more information about the Sunday,
September 29 “Cherish Our Children Walk”, call Newington Memorial Funeral Home
at (860) 666-0600 or visit www.duksa.net.