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Tomb for the unknown child

Elizabeth Chaten | Friday, October 7, 2011

I understand and endorse the message, and I appreciate how shock can convincingly present that message. What I cannot grasp is how plastic flags and decaying stick crosses have become fitting tombstones for aborted children.

Each year, Notre Dame’s right to life group displays plastic pink and blue flags on South Quad to represent the number of aborted children each day in America and small, white crosses to represent the number of aborted children during the time of a football game. These simple white crosses evoke the image of a graveyard. The message is powerful, but their symbolic graveyard does not honor the beauty of an individual child.

We construct headstones, tombs and memorials to honor and remember the dead. My grandfather’s headstone in Florida National Cemetery features a simple cross engraved upon white marble. Americans celebrate our lost soldiers at the white marble Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Some of the most famous tombs in the world include the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal, the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. Our symbolic headstones for aborted children are popsicle-stick crosses and cheap plastic flags.

While I appreciate the message and the effort, I suggest that the Notre Dame community ought to construct a more fitting monument. To maintain the shock achieved by making a statistic tangible, I suggest replacing plastic flags and cheap crosses with pink and blue flowers. To honor these children more permanently, I suggest that we create a lasting memorial: our own Tomb for the Unknown Child.

We must end abortion. However, we must remember that we are not simply ending a policy — we are ending the murder of a child. Let’s respect these children with more than stick crosses and plastic flags.

Elizabeth Chaten


Badin Hall

Oct. 6