Parents Remember Children at 'Angel of Hope' in Maple Grove

Updated: 12/06/2012 11:07 PM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz

On Thursday night, parents across the country remembered children who have died. Nationwide, there were more than 100 candlelight vigils at "Angel of Hope" statues from Minnesota to Canada. One of the statues is in the Maple Grove Arboretum, dedicated in 2001.

Every year on December 6th at 7:00 p.m. memorials are held at the statues. The Maple Grove Angel of Hope is one of many Christmas Box Angels throughout the United States that are replicates of a statue commissioned by Richard Paul Evans, author of "The Christmas Box." The story is about a woman who mourned the loss of a child at the base of an angel monument. The statues were created in response to reports that mourning parents were seeking a place to grieve and heal.

Hundreds gathered around the Maple Grove Angel of Hope Thursday evening, holding candles and placing flowers on the angel.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers and not knowing the person you are next to you, you have a sense of comfort and some peace and warmth," said Meghan Johnson, who lost her son, Alex, two years ago.

"Having a place to go to have solace and peace for me and our family is crucial," said Sarah Kerbeshian, who lost her son, Luke, in 1997.

"We feel our children are in heaven and they are angels and they are just helping us along, just guiding us and making sure we are staying there and helping others," said Sue Drag, who lost her son, Billy, 27 years ago.

The Friends of the Angel Organization is working with the City of Maple Grove and Maple Grove Hospital to host the 3rd Annual Walk To Remember on Saturday, May 4th. The walk begins at the Maple Grove Angel of Hope and continues around Rice Lake. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The event begins at 10 a.m.