Anniversary of death a painful reminder

To the Editor:

Our lives are filled with dates to remember. Parents remember their child’s birth, when they begin to crawl, take their first steps, and speak their first words. As the child gets older, they have their first day of kindergarten, first date, get their driver’s license, and purchase their first car. All of these events are etched in the mind of the parent. Tangible items are also used to commemorate these special days. It could be a birth certificate, grade card, pressed flower, trophy, or photograph.

Fifteen years ago, my family suffered a tragedy that will forever be remembered. March 6, 2006, marks the death of my great-nephew, Logan Hess. Sadly, we only had two and a half years of memories to make with Logan. Each of our homes has a picture of Logan hanging on the wall or placed on a table as a lasting memorial to someone that died too young. There are scrapbooks with newspaper clippings, videos of newscasts, and police reports that show the process of the investigation that never led to an arrest of the abuser.

This time of year, brings back a flood of memories I have from that week: the first phone call informing me of Logan being transported to the hospital; seeing Logan lying in the hospital bed on life support; getting face to face with the suspected abuser; receiving the second phone call reporting Logan’s death.

The five adults that were in the home with Logan when he was abused would have lasting memories as well: memories of lying to the police; having loyalty to the abuser rather than the innocent child; one of the adults has the memory of striking Logan. Fifteen years of haunting memories kept to themselves.

Our family should be celebrating Logan’s graduation from high school next year. Taking photographs of him in his cap and gown. Instead, we will gather at a permanent memorial to Logan, a heart-shaped grave marker with the dates November 21, 2003, and March 6, 2006, engraved as a lasting reminder of the evil that surrounds us.

This letter is being written as a reminder to be alert for signs of child abuse. If you suspect something is wrong do not ignore it. Speak out. Do not end up with 15 years of guilt and remorse.

— Gary Felver

Piqua