M.V. Museum hosts 15th annual Children’s Memorial ceremony

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will hold the 15th annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Edgartown Lighthouse Children’s Memorial on Saturday, Sept. 24 (rain date Oct. 1), at 1 pm. The museum, under license from the town of Edgartown, opens the tower to the public on a seasonal schedule and maintains the ongoing Children’s Memorial project.

According to a press release, 35 new stones have been added in the past year, with names of children from across the country. The ceremony is an opportunity for families and friends to gather and remember the children who are part of the memorial. The memorial now holds 732 stones honoring children of all ages.

The idea for placing a memorial at the base of the Edgartown Lighthouse belonged to Rick Harrington, who envisioned it as “one more light to leave on” for his late son Ricky. Very quickly the concept grew into a way to memorialize many children who have died.

As steward of the lighthouse, the 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 the children’s families and friends.

Saturday, Sept. 24, will be the 15th such observance. The day is a celebration, with families and friends encouraged to come, spend time, and enjoy music and fellowship. The ceremony begins at 1 pm. Refreshments will be provided by the Harbor View Hotel. If a decision to postpone the ceremony is necessary due to weather, there will be a recorded message on the museum’s phone line by 5 pm on Friday, Sept. 23. Please call 508-627-4441, ext. 110.

Stones may be purchased by contacting Betsey Mayhew at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, bmayhew@mvmuseum.org or by calling 508-627-4441, ext. 112.