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New memorial helps deal with child loss

Three members of Mamas on a Mission, from left, Paige Hawkins, Dena Iverson and Rachel Lang, stand by the recently completed Angel Monument in the New Ulm City Cemetery.

NEW ULM–The New Ulm City Cemetery has a new memorial thanks to the fundraising efforts of a group of area mothers.

The Angel Memorial is dedicated to pregnancy and infant/child loss. The creation of the memorial was spearheaded by a group called Mamas on a Mission.

Dena Iverson started funding for the monument, along with other members. Iverson’s daughter Cassie was stillborn in 2019 and buried in the New Ulm Cemetery. When visiting her grave, Iverson realized New Ulm had no monument for families who experienced this type of loss. She began fundraising along with other members of Mamas on a Mission.

Fundraising efforts for the memorial began in 2020 to raise enough money for a monument, patio, landscaping and benches. The fundraising goal was reached in a short time.

Iverson said she expected to reach their goal, but was surprised by the speed at which money was raised. The brick patio was installed last fall. The monument stone was placed last month and the benches arrived last week.

The base of Angel Monument shows the statistics: one in four pregnancies is a miscarriage; one in 120 babies is stillborn and one in eight couples struggle with infertility.

The idea of the memorial is to create a place where families can visit to remember their loss. Special paver stones are available at the memorial for engraving the name or family of a lost child. Engravings cost $100 and are to cover the cost of the bricks. Engraving is done by Memorial Lettering.

The paver patio has 15 engraved bricks, with at least 10 more planned for engraving. For some, these pavers are the only physical memorial for a lost child.

Iverson said one of the pavers was purchased by a father for a child lost in 1941.

“It goes to show you never do forget, no matter how much time has passed,” Iverson said.

A special open house event will be held at the Angel Memorial at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 25. The event begins with a prayer service. Anyone seeking further information on the paver is welcome to attend. The event will also have representatives from MAC Initiative and One Bright Star. MAC Initiative offers counseling services and One Bright Start is a resource for grieving families how have lost a child to death.

The open house is intended as a family celebration. All ages are welcome from children to grandparents.

Another goal of the Angel Memorial is to raise awareness of child loss, a subject that is not uncommon, but not always talked about.

The Angel Monument is located in the New Ulm City Cemetery. Visitors can find the monument by entering the cemetery on Broadway and taking the first right turn into the city section.

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