The will hold the 11th annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Edgartown Lighthouse Children’s Memorial on Saturday, September 15, 2011 (Rain date September 22) at 1pm. The Museum is steward of the Edgartown, East Chop, and Gay Head Lighthouses and caretaker of the Children’s Memorial.
The idea for placing a memorial at the base of the belonged to Rick Harrington, who envisioned it as the perfect way to remember his son Rickey, who was killed at the age of sixteen in a motor vehicle accident. Harrington described the idea to John Budris in Vineyard Style as “one more light to leave on for Rickey.” Very quickly the concept grew into a way to memorialize the many children who have died.
As steward of the lighthouse, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum became enthusiastically involved in the project. The lighthouse was, at that time, in poor shape. The reconstruction and transformation of its base from crumbling cement to cobblestones engraved with the names of children who have died was supported by contributions from on-island and off. The Children’s Memorial at the Edgartown Lighthouse was dedicated in 2001 and the following fall saw the first Ceremony of Remembrance, a celebration that has become a beloved tradition for families and friends of the children. In the past couple of years, the Lighthouse has undergone massive renovation and is now open to the public.
Betsey Mayhew, Children's Memorial Organizer at the Martha's Vineyard Museum said, "The annual Ceremony of Remembrance honors not just new names, but all of the children who are a part of the Children's Memorial. It is a chance for friends and families to join together at the site and share its beauty and poignancy."
This Saturday, September 15, will be the 11th such observance. There are currently 574 stones in the memorial. This is a celebration and families and friends are encouraged to come, spend some time, and enjoy music and fellowship. Stones may be purchased for $250 by contacting Betsey Mayhew at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Museum at 508-627-4441 x112.
The Ceremony of Remembrance takes place on September 15th at the Children’s Memorial. The ceremony begins at 1 pm. Refreshments will be provided by the Harborview Hotel. If a decision to postpone the ceremony is necessary, there will be a recorded message on the Museum phone by 5pm on Friday, September 14.