Many strong and enduring relationships develop within Second Life that brighten our lives and teach us value and meaning. Inevitably however some of the individuals we love and admire here will pass away in real life, and their digital image will Suddenly disappear, leaving only an empty, inexplicable void behind.
The sadness and pain we feel at the loss of a dear friend may abate with time, but the core essence of words, values and affection that we hold for them will not fade. It becomes part of who we are as individuals and it reaches out through our own thoughts and deeds to strengthen the common bond we share as a community.
This simple truth is acknowledged each year in Second Life by a Day of Remembrance, when a series of events are held to record and celebrate the friends and loved ones that have given us so much, but are now gone.
This year the Linden Department of Public Works helped establish a more permanent, enduring monument to our SL friends and colleagues by erecting a twelve sim complex, the Linden Memorial Park. The park opened to the public yesterday. The designers did a truly remarkable job. The park is notable for broad, open spaces of field and forest, with areas set aside for quiet reflection.
At the center of the memorial is a large pool fed by converging streams. A cascade of waterfalls rims the lake and give life to the stately calm of the Park. A small island in the center forms the stage for a Memorial Shrine that encloses a symbolic, enduring flame.
A particularly nice feature of the installation is the Memorial Garden just East of the shrine .The Lindens made a commitment to maintain the garden as a permanent record of those we have lost. Any time you can stop by and plant a flower; each flower will carry the name of a loved one now gone. They will not be forgotten.
This evening I planted two flowers, one for Mannie Madonna and the other for Djdueuer Zuo. They were sailors who enriched our lives and shared our joys and our sorrow. Stop by the Memorial Park when you have a free moment, and maybe plant a flower too. Our vision and strength as a community rests on the ties that join us together, not only for this moment but for all lives past and all those yet to come.
We will not forget.