Thu | May 25, 2017

Monument Wreaks Emotions for First-Timers

Published:Thursday | April 30, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Jennifer Allen, an employee at the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, cleans the monument at Secret Gardens in downtown Kingston. The monument was erected in honour of the nation's slain children.

THE METALLIC image of a child's face that is displayed on a monument in downtown Kingston, which was erected to show the names of children who died under tragic circumstances, was a tear-jerker for Velta Douglas, who was seeing the construction for the first time, as she went about her business on Monday.

The monument is located at the corner of Church and Tower streets in Kingston.

Douglas, who is from Spanish Town, St Catherine, noted that the monument has plunged her in a deeper ball of emotions, indicating that the spate of killings that the nation's children have been experiencing in recent times has been having an impact on her.

"I've always heard of it, but it's the first time I'm seeing it. I never imagined that it would have rocked me like this. I am really moved by this monument," she declared.

"I am seeing children who were zero year old, which means they lived no life. I am just heartbroken," she exclaimed.

She also noted that she is longing for the day when parents begin to be more instrumental in the lives of their children.

"Where are the parents? I have children and I have to know where they are every second. I give them their space to be responsible, but I can't help but be nosy because I will go crazy if they are out of my sight for too long," Douglas said.

Rayon Jones, a construction worker, was also seeing the monument for the first time. He stood there for a long while, then shook his head and walked away. He told The Gleaner that he was close to tears.

"Mi blood run cold wen mi si it. Mi always si it on TV (television), but mi neva kno seh a suh much pickney get kill. Wi affi do better man," he charged.

Mayor of Kingston Dr Angela Brown Burke, who was speaking with The Gleaner ahead of a march against the killing of the nation's children which will be hosted by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation on the weekend, noted that the monument holds a significant space in the lives of many citizens in the downtown Kingston community.

"We receive a lot of feedback from persons and we realise that the monument is a place of solace for many persons. From time to time, persons come there to give their private tributes, people come there for different reasons, and though it is unfortunate, I am happy we could have created that space," she said.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com