National Day of Remembrance Speech


Nancy Kreuzer

  Not long ago, I took an afternoon off of work and visited a local museum.

That’s when I saw her… floating, naked and upright, in a jar of formaldehyde.  The label on the exhibition card read “Female: 23 weeks”.  

There was a small crowd that stood studying her.

And…I noticed that I was becoming uncomfortable and increasingly disturbed…. I felt an overwhelming desire to run because my heart seemed to be telling me that something was terribly, terribly wrong.  I think it was the eyes of the on-lookers that troubled me initially.  They held no emotion.  Yes, they saw the white body, the paper-thin skin, the life-less, half-closed eyes.  They saw the delicate limbs, the fingers with fingernails grown to the ends of the fingertips, but they gave no hint, no outward sign that they felt anything.  

And then a strange and unique sadness swiftly overcame me, and I cried out to God, in the chambers of my heart, with an internal voice intended to reach to the ends of the earth … it was emotion that finds difficulty in expressing the anguish of taking a child and turning it into a display.

The child’s umbilical cord was still attached, long ago cut away from her mother and I whispered, softly, “Oh, Little One”. And love just poured from my heart for this child, now reduced to a specimen, an object.  There was grief…it mixed with tears and formed a deep ache in my heart for this life unlived, for this life that had become a spectacle.

“What is your story, Little One?” I wondered.  Surely, if these onlookers knew even a small part of it, their eyes might soften?  But your story is hidden, it’s lost to all.

And it was next that my thoughts turned to the millions of aborted children—their stories also hidden and lost.  I couldn’t help but think how precious each human being is—how large the scope and magnitude of one life… and I pondered… what have we lost? Who have we lost? I just held my face in my hands and tears spilled into them; despair wound about me like a snare.  Grief consumed me.

But there is strength and hope that is born from within. And so I reached beyond my tears and I re-wrote, in my mind, the exhibition label of that baby girl in the jar. I rewrote, in my mind, the stories of every single aborted baby girl and boy who we memorialize today.  This new label read: “Forgotten by the world: Known by God.”  And my eye, which joined with God’s, saw that this little girl in the jar was beautiful, that every child is fearfully and wonderfully made.

We know, do we not, that her life as well as the lives of the millions of babies we mourn here today are recorded in a Great Book.  This Book contains the names of every child, each known and loved by God, made in His likeness, loved since the foundations of time. In this Book, in the memorial of His heart, no child is lost, nor is he forgotten.    

And what might we say to each of them today?  Might we say….   

“Dear Little Ones, if we could, we would lay you on soft, white linens on a perennial bed, a wooden lair, carved with flowers and tiny bells.  In your hands we’d place a little doll– a gift for the journey ahead. And we would whisper to you that we would not forget you.

“We would walk you to a haven of peace and beauty, a place strewn with flowers just like those carved on the tiny, doll-size casket in which you rested. Birds would fly above, in the spaces between earth and heaven, their melodies joined with the choirs of angels.  We would tell you, Little Ones, to listen carefully, for their songs tell of His promise of Love.  Then, with peace reigning in our hearts, we would cover you with an earth-rich blanket, leaving you in that Holy place—that sacred ground-- set apart for God’s children who wait on Him together.

“We would do this for all of you, for your sake, Little Ones.”