This coming weekend we will hold our annual Children’s Fall Festival on the South Lawn of Arlington Lake. This is a fun event for kids to enjoy what we call some “good, old fashioned fun.” Face painting, bobbing for apples, sack races, train rides, a pumpkin patch and treats are all a part of the fun and games of the festival – all while we’re supporting the Dragonfly Foundation by asking for donations. Come and join us for a great couple of hours of fun!
This event is just one in a series of activities that we sponsor and host throughout the year. We believe we have a role to play in the community and that our grounds are a place not only to memorialize the dead but also a place to celebrate life. And, what better way to celebrate life than by hosting activities that bring the joy and laughter of people of all ages to our grounds?
However, while many of our events are enjoyable and lighthearted – things like our fall festival and summer concerts – others are more related to assisting survivors of the death of a loved one. For instance, in the next few months we will host a Loss of a Spouse seminar, a Surviving the Holidays seminar and our Christmas Remembrance service. And in May we give the community the gift of the Field of Memories, an event that while celebratory, also focuses heavily on the real meaning of Memorial Day. All of these events in their entirety provide a well-rounded slate of events and activities that benefit those thousands of families we serve as well as the community at large.
While our “extracurricular” events are mostly widely acclaimed, we do occasionally hear from someone who’s not quite so enthusiastic about them. While we understand that sentiment, I think it’s important to note that “memorial parks” like Arlington were developed conceptually different than the old, traditional cemeteries. Providing a place to honor the dead was one concept of memorial parks; but, emphasizing life and the living was another. And, from its very inception in 1934, Arlington has been a place that has consistently hosted extracurricular activities. Likewise, in the future, Arlington will continue to play a role in the community with measured, but worthwhile, activities that bind the goals of acknowledging the meaningfulness of death while celebrating, remembering and memorializing life.