WASHINGTON (WUSA) - A candlelight vigil took place in Lafayette Park Saturday night to remember children who have died of cancer and to support those whose battle against the disease is ongoing.
The event came just four weeks after the original gathering was abruptly shut down by Secret Service so the President and his motorcade could travel to an event.
Not only did Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy call the event's organizer to say he was sorry for last month's incident, he showed up in person on Saturday night to apologize directly to the children and their families.
Natasha Gould is a spunky 11-year-old who learned in May she has inoperable brain cancer. "Some mornings, I wake up not even thinking I have cancer," Natasha said.
"She puts on a smile and she puts on a bright side. There's low days where she has to drag herself out. But overall she approaches it in such a positive way," explained Saskia Gould, Natasha's Mother.
For their family and others, cancer has changed everything.
"You're thinking how does this happen to our family? Why us? Why our family? But then you realize, it can happen to anyone. And everyone needs to come together to stop it," expressed Liam Gould, Natasha's Brother.
The crowd was quick to forgive the Secret Service for abruptly canceling last month's vigi. In fact, many were thrilled by the international attention that it attracted, along with an apology from the Secret Service Director.
" I'll make a deal with you. If you keep me in your prayers, and keep the Secret Service in your prayers, you'll certainly be in my prayers," expressed Joseph Clancy, Secret Service Director.
The group was so impressed with the apology from the Secret Service, it awarded Director Clancy with a Secret Service Rocks award. They say the letters in Rocks stand for Respect, Open-hearted, compassionate, kind and sincere.
The cancelled vigil in September turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It ended up launching more than 350 vigils in all 50 states and 20 countries around the world.
Like this story? Like us onFacebook