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I'm Going to Caylee Anthony's Memorial

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I've been covering the tragic story of Caylee Anthony for months. Now I was heading to Orlando for her memorial.

Caylee Anthony

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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17 comments so far | Post a comment now
Well February 9, 2009, 9:40 PM

Not really. I think that memorials and funerals are for family and friends to grieve and pay respect. But, Caylee has invaded our homes and hearts and we all have said countless prayers for her to be found. So, I can see why people may feel close to her and want to attend her memorial. We all feel a bond, even if not real, with this sweet little angel.

Kim February 9, 2009, 10:33 PM

No. Caylee has in many ways become America’s little girl. We worried when she was lost and prayed she was alive. We disliked her mother for her indifference and cried when Caylee’s body was recovered. With Casey in jail and probably in at least someway, responsible for her death, it’s no wonder this little girl now belongs in many ways to all of us.

jo February 9, 2009, 11:29 PM

I do and I don’t, caylee touched so many people’s lives, we didn’t have to shake her hand, or walk along side her to know her, we felt her spirit around us everyday since july,the mopped headed little brown eyed angel and we all cried and took her into our hearts,We searched our own neighborhoods, we helped in searches wheather it be on foot or internet,some shread of hope that maybe this was a nightmare and caylee was alive, we gave our kids extra hugs and I love You’s because of caylee.
Then the imaginable happened, caylee was goen,w e all knew in our eharts maybe so but some people like me wanted to hold onto hope.I cried and prayed for the beautiful baby who would be never forgotten,who would be forever an angel in heaven with wings,floating around her grandparents and then it dawns on people that this child will forever be remembered,every dec th and every feb th caylee will be remembered.
I would of gone to teh memorial but I live to far away,I will be in orlando in teh summer to see family and will visit teh site to leave flowers,I don’t have to make a spetical as lp is doing tomarrow, his own memorial when the one the anthony’s are doing takes place, he ought to leave it alone as nancy grace told him,I’d rather be on my own, say my prayer and leave flowers, tomarrow i plan on watching teh memorial,i willc ry i know it, I will still say my prayer for caylee at night and hope maybe casey will coem to her senses and say one for her daughter and mean it,not be opposed to a public memorial,a time to thank people who helped search,thank those who came long ways for caylee.God Bless little one,fly high.

mary February 10, 2009, 12:14 AM

No a memorial is for close family and if it was held privately then Casey could have attended to say her goodbyes.
As it stands now people are even convicting her for not watching it on TV but what is there to watch.
This is not how she wanted the funeral to be.

Barbara February 10, 2009, 3:36 AM

I think it is very appropriate to attend Caylee’s memorial. It has been announced as being a “public” memorial, and I think that any members of the public who feel led to attend, and who are going to be there to support the Anthony family (George, Cindy, Lee) should definitely go.
This is a time for them to begin the healing process. With all that they have been exposed to, the criticism, the picketing, having to deal with their daughter being charged with Caylee’s death, it is a time when George, Cindy and Lee, need love and compassion to begin the long process of grieving.
My hearts go out to them. If I lived closer, I would attend, and if the opportunity presented itself, I would give them all a hug. After all that they have been through, they need any support that the public has to offer and all the support that will be shown at this memorial, will help them begin the healing process.

Vita David February 10, 2009, 7:34 AM

I believe that Caylee has become a part of everyones family. No a memorial should be a private thing, for family and close friends, but in this situation where there are so many people that felt love and sadness for this sweet angel, there is a diffrence. As long as the media does not turn it into a circus, then I believe by all means you should go. May she rest in peace and may angels surround her.

Ralph February 10, 2009, 9:02 AM

Not unless they have strong stomachs. The attention given this case is nauseating. If another of these dysfunctional human beings utters the word “heart,” I know I’ll be sick.

Carrie February 10, 2009, 9:51 AM

I dont think its appropriate. If you did not persoanlly know the deceased, work with them, or have some sort of interaction with them other than covering news blurbs about them it is rude to assume the family wants to share their grief with you. The author of this post is not rude, this was for her job, however the fact that she feels personally connected to the poor young casey is a bit odd. Perhaps its because she has a young daughter as well.

knarahs February 10, 2009, 12:05 PM

Yes. A memorial service, by its nature, is for the public. The funeral, however, should only be for the family and those who actually KNEW Caylee. Of course Casey does not want a public memorial service. The memorial service (a) is in Caylee’s honor, not hers; (b) will lend support to her parents and brother, not her; and(c) is a public reminder that this innocent little girl’s life was ruthlessly SNATCHED away, and all evidence points to her mother as the cause. I’ve heard several psychologists say that Casey exhibits sociopathic behavior, and her statement against the memorial service was classicly narcissistic — “I wanted,” “I wanted,” “I didn’t get,” etc. Everything about what SHE wanted and wasn’t getting - not one word about the tragedy of Caylee’s death. She paid lip service to Caylee, but again, only in a context of herself - “I really loved,” “I really miss,” - not that Caylee was denied the life every little boy or girl deserves. George and Cindy and Lee needed to say goodbye to Caylee and they also understood that many other people needed the opportunity to do the same. Thousands of people shared the Anthonys horror at discovering Caylee missing, their desperation at trying to find her, their frustration at the countless deadends, and finally, their inconsolable devistation when they realized that Caylee was never coming back alive. George and Cindy understood this — their daughter only understands things that reflect directly to her - she has no fellow-feelings for anyone else - as her behavior has shown in the past.

stephanie February 10, 2009, 12:26 PM

no way i think its ok im sure it had effected poeple all over the world this is such a tragic thing to have happend! its mind blowing! i read bout this everyday i search the internet for new info in the story!! its just so sad!

Nancy February 10, 2009, 1:18 PM

I think it’s very appropriate for a public memorial service. The world has been attached to this little girl for months, and I prayed for her every day since she went missing and hoped in the end she would be found alive. Casey is jealous because she isn’t getting the attention that Caylee is getting and as everyone knows “it’s all about Casey”.

Sara February 10, 2009, 5:21 PM

Well said knarahs! Kudo’s to you!

And Ralph, you sound a little bitter there, bud. Who ripped out your cold-hearted heart and stomped it on the ground? You obviously have a lot of deep hurts when you can’t feel compassion for others, or at least respect that others do feel compassion and genuinely care about one another.
So, us “dysfunctionals” who actually have a heart and know how to use it, and aren’t afraid to say it, will be here waiting for you when you finish your hurling spree in the bathroom. It is very sad that love and kindness has such a negative, emotional and physical impact for you.
Still, I wish you well, and also send wishes for a large supply of anti-nausea drugs and for someone to give you a big hug.

Ralph February 11, 2009, 9:25 AM

Amateur psychology and hugs!
The loss of a child is terrible, but this Nancy Grace inspired circus is a remarkably grotesque example of sociopathology, right down to the heart metaphor consistently used in jailhouse conversations, in the eulogy, and in the sticker attached to the poor child’s corpse. A tragic case that should have remained a matter for the family, social services, and law enforcement is broadcast for at least an hour a day, every day, on cable television. Genuine care? Maybe voyeurism? Maybe better to focus our attention,compassion, and our actions on those in need who are nearer to us, as well as on those organizations that assist living children here and around the world.

Anonymous February 11, 2009, 10:10 AM

linda foto….

katelynn February 19, 2009, 8:34 PM

hi um… i think the mom and grandpa did it this kid was so cute and strong but they had NO right what so ever to kill they were wrong and i hope they press charges aganist casey and the grandparents please they know she is dead she needs to die and i am talkinf about the mom not caylee

caylee we hope you have a better life with god god bless

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