Downey Beat | Ben Baeder
But what are you supposed to do when a full-grown man starts to crack because he is talking about his dead teenage son?
Or how about the mother who knows her daughter will die if someone doesn’t come through with a kidney soon?
This was the scene of the Donate Life section of the Rose Parade staging area in Pasadena this week, where dozens of people wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the faces of young people all stood in a big line, clutching flowers and trying to make sure they were in the right place for what has come to be called the Rose Ceremony.
I covered the ceremony Thursday, and I brought my 13-year-old daughter along, partly because I was so busy I needed help, and partly because I wanted her to see something beautiful.
Each year since 2004, a coalition of donor networks have entered a float into the Rose Parade. This year’s float will feature images of 72 people who donated organs or tissue. On top of the float will ride 28 people who are alive because they received another person’s body parts. During the Rose Ceremony, family members place roses into the float in honor of their deceased relatives.
This year’s float “…One More Day,” features clocks running backward, which represent the time received by organ recipients and the longing by donors’ families to see their loved ones.
In a coincidence that nearly defies mathematical possibility, four of the 72 images on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float will be of men from Downey.