Momlogic's Andrea: The day before I was due to fly from Los Angeles to Orlando to cover the Caylee Anthony memorial, my three-year-old daughter pointed at the cover of a People magazine on the couch. "That's Caylee, Mommy." It's not surprising really. Caylee is spoken of often in our house -- I've been covering the story for over half a year. Of course, my daughter knows none of the details -- yet in some ways I feel like I know George and Cindy Anthony. But of course I don't. Not really. Not at all. And yet there I was preparing to attend the memorial of their granddaughter.
As I packed, I tried to figure out what outfit would be appropriate for the services at First Baptist Church -- a venue that holds over 5,000 people. Should I wear colors to celebrate Caylee's short life -- the one I know only by video clips and pictures in the media? Or should I condemn the hideousness of her death and wear all black? I packed both.
Just then, my little girl asked my what I was doing. "I'm going on trip, honey," I told her.
"Can I come?" she asked. That one was WAY too hard to explain. But in some ways I wish she could come with me, to remind me that life is not all tragedy.
Later that night, I called Dominic Casey, the private investigator hired by the Anthonys, to see if he would be at the services. "I'm in charge of security," he told me. I had already read security was going to be tight, but Dominic said the church would almost be on lockdown. Particularly from the press. It sank in. That meant me. Suffice it to say I've never covered anything like this before. The crime beat is new to me. I've certainly never attended a funeral for a little girl whose mom can't attend because she's charged with the child's murder. But I'm not alone when I say this story has had a huge effect on me.
When I touched down in Orlando, I read a report that said Casey, from jail, issued a statement though her lawyers that she disapproved of a public service for her daughter.
It's understandable. I would be mad too if a bunch of strangers showed up at my daughter's wake. That is, unless I was responsible for her death.
Do you think it's appropriate for the public to attend Caylee's memorial?
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