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Liberating balloons to release the grief
September 27, 2018 at 9:06 a.m.
Around 20 people representing five different families let go of balloons plastered with messages of love next to Park Avenue Elementary School for the Grieving Parents Worldwide Balloon Release on Saturday, Sept. 22. The annual Balloon Release took place at the exact same time all over the world to remember deceased children.
With a hefty bundle of balloons in hand, Barbara DiPietro waits for the clock strike of 7 p.m. to release them into the sky. The Harrison resident came to support her daughter, AnaMarie, and honor her granddaughters Alissa and Deanna, who were murdered in February 2015.
Holding balloons silhouetted by the grey/blue skies, Port Chester resident Shari Melillo calls the families together for the count to 7 p.m. She stands with other Angel Mom affiliates, a local support group dedicated to helping grieving parents.
Port Chester resident Rocco Brescia puts his arm around his uncle, Steve, for comfort as they watch balloons float away and mourn the loss of their cousin and son, Sal, who was struck by a car on I-95 in December 2016. “It’s helpful but also hard,” Steve said, reflecting on the premise of the event. “It’s nice to come together and do this. But you’ll never forget your son, and this brings up all those feelings of losing him again.”
Dozens of balloons drift off into the sky next to Park Avenue Elementary School for the Grieving Parents Worldwide Balloon Release on Saturday, Sept. 22. Within minutes, they were out of sight.