Pensacola’s Memorial to Missing Children
Our road trip continues in Pensacola, Florida, where we spot a surprise memorial to missing children right across the street from Veterans Memorial Park.
Just as we were about to leave the inspiring Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola, Florida, we noticed an odd-looking structure just across the street.
Looking like a walkway to nowhere with a plaque on it, we just had to go check this out. As we got closer, we noticed it was a Memorial to Missing Children. Following the walkway out towards the water, we discovered a statue at the end. The statue, which consists of two arms with hands clasped in prayer raised over a family of three – with the father and mother gazing down at the baby between the mother’s legs – was a nice piece of found art, and, set against the backdrop of water, made the whole structure feel all the more isolated.
In one of the plaques beneath the sculpture (the other plaque gives name to the sculpture – “The Sanctuary” – and names Sam Nettles as the artist), the story is told out:
“The Sanctuary” is both a shelter and a memorial. The arms and hands form a shelter and represent protection, our gift to our children. The shelter also forms a memorial in which resides a sacred spiritualism that is universal and primal.
In the family grouping, the child completes the circle, making the couple a family. The parents focus on their child and in turn, the child focuses its love and trust on the parents. This simple exchange is one of the essential truths of life. We all love our children and want to protect them.
Let us hope that we can begin to try to understand and appreciate that which we memorialize – the families, parents, and friends of lost and missing children.
With the sense of isolation you feel at this sculpture, as you gaze over the water of Pensacola Bay, you can almost feel what it’s like to be lost, and you empathize with those friends and family members who are searching for these lost children. It’s definitely a place to reflect, and to feel for those who have been lost.
This moving monument (which is actually called Hawkshaw Lagoon Memorial Park) was another surprise find for us during our road trip, and again showcased one of the things we love about driving our route. While we may have found a few spots online that guided us, we are constantly discovering new sights along the way. Sometimes, it’s something simple like watching turkeys roam free on Thanksgiving. Other times, we discover gems like this moving memorial. While it’s nice to see what we had originally planned on seeing, these additional discoveries really are highlights of our trip.
For more information on missing children (and how you can help). visit The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Enjoy the pics below, and stay tuned for where we head to next!