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City Beat: An angel statue unites those mourning children

December 10, 2012 | 12:18 pm

Josh Smay, 7, of Foothill Ranch joins his family at his sister Katelyn's graveside on Thursday during a vigil to honor deceased children. Katelyn died the day she was born. Credit: Alyssa Orr / Los AngelesTimes

Hundreds of people gather each year in a Lake Forest cemetery to mourn the loss of their children.

They stand before the statue of an angel and listen to songs and prayers and stories of loss.

Citybeat

Many of them cry. They do not try to hold back the tears.

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And when the time comes, they line up to speak the names of the children they have lost -- and to place flowers for those children at the feet and in the arms of the bronze angel.

For my latest City Beat, I visit the Angel of Hope statue at El Toro Memorial Park on the night of the memorial, and hear why people find the naming part of the ceremony especially important.

If you've ever wondered what to say to people dealing with such a devastating loss, read my latest City Beat.

Here's what I sent out on Twitter from the scene: 

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Follow City Beat on Twitter at latimescitybeat and on Facebook. Send ideas for City Beat dispatches to nita.lelyveld@latimes.com.

Photo: Josh Smay, 7, of Foothill Ranch joins his family at his sister Katelyn's gravesite on Thursday during a vigil to honor deceased children. Katelyn died the day she was born. Credit: Alyssa Orr / Los Angeles Times

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