Tonight at 7pm across the globe, candles will be lit in remembrance of those little lights who flickered out too soon during Compassionate Friends 15th Annual Worldwide Candle Lighting event. Sadly, it is impossible for me to list the many children who have touched our lives who will be remembered today... but those little loves are forever in our hearts.
Here is more about this event from their Web site:
The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.
Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.
The Worldwide Candle Lighting started in the United States in 1997 as a small Internet observance but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance.
In 2010, information was submitted to TCF's national website on services in 15 countries outside the United States including more than 530 services, as this special day continues to grow. TCF has been joined in recent years by chapters of several organizations including MISS, MADD, Parents of Murdered Children, SIDS Network, Gilda's Club, and BPUSA and for several years services have been held in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. There is no way to know how many hundreds of additional services open to the public are held in the U.S. and around the world each year without the information being sent to us.
The Compassionate Friends and allied organizations were joined in 2010 by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children's gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers. Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.
Every year you are invited to post a message in the Remembrance Book which will be available, during the event, at TCF's national website. Last year in that short one day span, nearly five thousand messages of love were received and posted from every U.S. state and Washington D.C., every territory, as well as dozens of other countries, with some posts in foreign languages.
Here in the United States, publicity about the event is widespread, being featured over the years in Dear Abby, Annie's Mailbox, Ann Landers column, Parade Magazine, Guideposts magazine, and literally hundreds of U.S. newspapers, dozens of television stations, and numerous websites and hundreds of personal blogs. Information on the Worldwide Candle Lighting and planned memorial candle lighting services (of which we are advised) is posted on TCF's national website every year as the event nears.