Posted By: Camila Orti
For 21 years, the first Sunday of every October has been a day for remembering. A day that unites those that have lost babies or children to miscarriages, stillbirths or neonatal death.
The annual 'Walk to Remember' at Lincoln Memorial Park gave grieving parents and families a chance to come together in the memory of their loved ones.
Bryan Health Medical Center and Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center partner to put on the event every year in honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
"It just feels like the world crumbled," participant Karen Troester said.
Troester says she lost her baby last October after just nine weeks of pregnancy. She and her husband say it's been an emotional day, but well worth it.
"It's just something we needed to do, just so we can remember and just to see that many people that needed this, and that it kind of makes you feel like you're not alone," Troester said.
More than 100 people joined together to honor their babies.
Participants walked through Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery and gathered for a ceremony near a special tree which was planted specifically for the event.
Families dropped strips of paper with the names of their babies in the soil under the tree.
"It was something that I'm glad that we did because it just has a certain kind of closure that we didn't have before," Troester said.
Closure that organizers say hopefully helps heal the wounds of loss.
"The parents have an opportunity to have a special rite in honor of their baby, people thank us and we are just honored to be here," organizer Elsa Larson said.
Studies show about 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, still birth or neonatal death.