VICENZA, Italy – Community members who have lost a child now have a place at Army Community Service to reflect on their loss and remember their loved ones.
A wall inside U.S. Army Garrison Italy’s ACS on Caserma Ederle is now adorned with ceremonial tiles – artwork in the lobby that reminds every one of the challenges people face when losing a child.
The tile project is a follow up to an Oct. 14, 2021, “Wave of Light” ceremony held on post to recognize those grieving from such a lost. The idea is to offer community members a place to go and remember their child, as well as an opportunity for them to acknowledge their loss through art.
“Giving families the opportunity to decorate a tile in remembrance of their little ones allows our community to recognize their loss and know they are not alone,” said Emilee Troy, a member of the New Parent Support program.
Adults and children painted tiles at the ceremony. The Ederle Arts Center then glazed, finished and framed the tiles. Recently, staff mounted them inside ACS.
“We hope members of the Vicenza military community will take an opportunity to view the tiles on display that honor our little ones gone too soon, and - for those who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss - to know they are not alone,” said Jennifer Williams, ACS New Parent Support Program manager.
Elena Mattolin, a New Parent Support program member, shared the sentiment of how the project might help.
“A mother’s heart never recovers from the event of losing a baby, but sharing her experience with the community is a recognition of her pain,” Mattolin said.
Each October, a display will be part of Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. The project is part of a variety of ACS programs that give the garrison a sense of community.
“Army Community Service is honored to be the home of such an important program and inspiring initiative,” said Jolly Miller, ACS Director. “We were touched immensely by all families participating in the ceremony and working together on the tile project.”