Fort Hood families remember lives lost too soon
Special to Leader-Press
FORT HOOD, TX- Each year in the United States, approximately one million children die shortly after birth or before they are born. The result is one in four pregnancies end in a loss.
Darnell Army Medical Center Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care held its annual Walk to Remember on Saturday at the Fort Hood Spiritual Resiliency Center. More than 50 families gathered to remember lives lost too soon.
A remembrance service was held in the chapel sanctuary followed by a gathering in the fellowship hall where families were asked to write on dissolving paper who they were memorializing and place them in a vessel of water.
The Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty attended to show support for military families and their losses. Five Hills Ambassador Emily Kimball said watching the paper dissolve in the water was the first of two ways that families continued through the healing process.
Each family present then made their way to the peaceful garden behind the chapel and opened triangular-shaped envelopes, watching its contents take flight to further pay tribute to lives lost too soon.
“Releasing the butterflies was a beautiful way to remember the babies that were lost by so many people in attendance and those lost who could not be at this memorial,” the 12 year old said. “It helped me realize that this is a loss that a lot of people suffer with and may not talk about often.”
One by one, families honored each other watching as each released its butterfly and watched it until it vanished from sight. It was an experience that even Little Mister Five Hills Brayden Chase, 7, could understand.
“I liked releasing the butterflies and praying for babies that died,” Chase said. “There were a lot of people that lost their babies.”
Preteen Miss Five Hills Briana Liles was the only attendee to open her envelope and discover a double blessing.
“My packet was the only packet that had two butterflies, twins. It was a special moment for me. When I encouraged them to fly away, they landed instead on my dress as if they did not want to leave me,” Liles, 10, said. “Even though it was very sad it was serene to remember all the babies that did not make it and the ones that didn’t get to stay here long enough. It is important that they offer a memorial for all the families that are dealing with this horrible grief, so they know they don’t have to go through this alone.”
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.