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Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Juan Barrot holds a balloon with the name of his daughter, Estrella, who passed away  soon after she was born in 2006. Barrott was one of dozens who took part in the 3rd annual Walk to remember service on Oct. 15, 2011, held at the chapel on Camp Lester.

Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Juan Barrot holds a balloon with the name of his daughter, Estrella, who passed away soon after she was born in 2006. Barrott was one of dozens who took part in the 3rd annual Walk to remember service on Oct. 15, 2011, held at the chapel on Camp Lester. (Matt Orr/Stars and Stripes)

Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Juan Barrot holds a balloon with the name of his daughter, Estrella, who passed away  soon after she was born in 2006. Barrott was one of dozens who took part in the 3rd annual Walk to remember service on Oct. 15, 2011, held at the chapel on Camp Lester.

Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Juan Barrot holds a balloon with the name of his daughter, Estrella, who passed away soon after she was born in 2006. Barrott was one of dozens who took part in the 3rd annual Walk to remember service on Oct. 15, 2011, held at the chapel on Camp Lester. (Matt Orr/Stars and Stripes)

Parents, children and friends release balloons with the names of babies who passed away during pregnancy during a Walk to Remember memorial service held Oct. 15, 2011, at Camp Lester on Okinawa. The walk allows parents who have lost of a young child to come together as a group to remember their children.

Parents, children and friends release balloons with the names of babies who passed away during pregnancy during a Walk to Remember memorial service held Oct. 15, 2011, at Camp Lester on Okinawa. The walk allows parents who have lost of a young child to come together as a group to remember their children. (Matt Orr/Stars and Stripes)

Approximately 70 parents, friends, and community members turned up Oct. 15, 2011, to the Walk to Remember held at the Chapel on Camp Lester, Okinawa. The memorial service was held for parents who had lost children during pregnancy or soon thereafter. Candles were lit as a way of remembering the young children.

Approximately 70 parents, friends, and community members turned up Oct. 15, 2011, to the Walk to Remember held at the Chapel on Camp Lester, Okinawa. The memorial service was held for parents who had lost children during pregnancy or soon thereafter. Candles were lit as a way of remembering the young children. (Matt Orr/Stars and Stripes)

Loved ones express their thoughts in a memorial binder Oct. 15, 2011, during the U.S. Naval Hospital's Walk to Remember. The half-mile walk is held each year on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Loved ones express their thoughts in a memorial binder Oct. 15, 2011, during the U.S. Naval Hospital's Walk to Remember. The half-mile walk is held each year on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. (Matt Orr/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — Dozens of family members gathered at the base chapel Saturday evening for the Third Annual Walk to Remember.

The walk is held each year as a way of healing and remembrance for parents who have lost babies during pregnancy or soon after giving birth.

In past years, attendees walked to the seawall and then released balloons with the names of their children. But inclement weather this year led to the cancellation of the walk, and the balloons were released outside the chapel after parents wrote names, thoughts, and prayers on them.

“Memorial services like this are great,” said Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Juan Barrot, who lost a daughter very soon after childbirth in 2006. “In the past we would visit her grave on her birthday, but obviously we can’t do that here, so we’ll keep coming to this every year while here on Okinawa.”

During the service, candles were lit, poems were read, and prayers were said.

“We hold this event so that parents who have experienced a loss, can remember that their loved ones have gone, but are not forgotten,” said Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Samuel E. Ravelo. “It gives the parents an opportunity to meet others who gone through and experienced similar losses to them.”

For more information about the Walk to Remember or the perinatal support group, which meets on the last Friday of every month, contact Lt. Chantel Hurwitz at angelbabies.okinawa@gmail.com, or visit their Facebook page by searching “angel babies Okinawa.”

orrm@pstripes.osd.mil


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