There are some beautiful places in this fair city of ours. In fact, we often overlook what is right down the street in favor of traveling into the mountains or farther afield. But this town is full of parks, monuments and other amazing places you can walk to fairly easily. One of those places is downtown near Library Square, and it is the Celebration of Life Monument.
From the plaque that sits next to the monument, you can read what it’s all about:
The Celebration of Life Monument is dedicated to those who have given the gift of life through organ, eye, tissue and blood donation. The adjacent glass walls bear the names of living and deceased donors, whose selfless gifts saved and improved the lives of others. The fountain symbolizes the profound ripple effect of each donor, whose gift may have saved or enhanced the lives of several people. For assistance in locating a donor name on the wall, please inquire at the Salt Lake City Library Main Information Desk. Please register as an organ donor at www.yesutah.org
How amazing is it to have such a beautiful little park dedicated to those who have truly made a difference in the lives of others? As a registered organ donor myself, with a very firm belief in the idea, I was astounded when we first saw this superb monument. I had thought it was simply an art installation, but when we finally took the kids to see it, I realized just what it meant.
You only have to look at the statues to see what it is all about. How many men, women and children have survived and thrived due to the selfless acts of others? How many people have made a huge difference by becoming donors? Even those who give blood may have saved a life!
I, myself, had to receive a blood transfusion after the birth of my second son, and it made a huge difference to me. I can only hope that the person whose blood I was given can understand what a true gift it was.
Besides the obvious focus of this park as a place for little ones to run around or adults to sit back and relax, it seems the perfect opportunity for teaching your children about the beauty of living. How miraculous life really is and how grateful we should be for the chance to live in this world. To play, to dream, to grow, to work – these are things we take for granted that mean so much to so many others. I briefly talked to my sons about it as we spent some time here recently. But I don’t think it will truly mean much to them until they are older.
Of course, that again is the beauty of this monument – to remember that some children never got any older. Some of them were robbed of their lives before they had a chance to truly live. And this is why it is so important for us to give if we can. I wouldn’t hesitate to give blood as often as I can. I would give any of my children any organ they might need. And if anything ever happens to me and my parts are in good working order, I know my husband wouldn’t hesitate to ensure that my final wishes are granted and someone can benefit from my loss of life.
I know it’s a morbid topic, but that is the yin and yang of life. You live, you die. It can happen to any of us. But teaching our kids to appreciate every second of this beautiful world is one of the most important things we can do.
I am so grateful that there are places like this that exist to honor those who put others before themselves.
Check it out if you’re ever in downtown Salt Lake City. You won’t regret it.