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A Memorial for Denise Thiem

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sep/Oct 2015
C Primitivo Sep / Oct 2016
Portugese Sep/Oct 2017
VdlP, Muxia 2018
(a continuation of "A Shell for Denise" thread)

There is now a memorial stone in place for Denise Thiem, American pilgrim who was killed along the Camino Frances in 2015. The people who use this forum have been great supporters of our efforts to appropriately remember our friend and sister pilgrim, Denise.
My thanks to you all.

News is here:

http://moratinoslife.blogspot.com.es/2017/11/at-last-stone-for-denise.html
It is good that a plaque in memory of Denise is now in place. I am from Ireland and this terrible event occurred as I was planning and preparing to walk the Frances in 2015. I walked my first Camino in September 2015 and remembered Denise on my stages to and from Astorga. I found that experience very emotional and it was good to pray and talk about her. I also remember her family regularly as they live with their great loss every day. I hope they will find some small measure of peace in the knowledge that we remember Denise our fellow pilgrim. May she rest in peace.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
It begins to feel as though we here are all beginning to heal from the shock of this. And your efforts, Reb, in making a physical place for remembrance are a big part of that.
Next time I go through Astorga, there will be a place to say a special prayer for her, for all of us. Which is no small thing.
Thank you.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Just a note that Cedric and Denise's parents have been very moved and touched by the support they've received from members of this Forum, either through carrying shells in memory of Denise or leaving a condolence note shortly after she passed away. And Rebekah has worked for a long time to make Denise's memorial special and long-lasting. It's nice to see the fruit of her labors, and the wonderful, kind community we all share here.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
Good to see this, I was on the Camino Francis when we heard about this happening. Spain is safe and probably safer than most of the cities and countries we travel from to get there.
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked through Astorga on May 3rd, 2015 on my first Camino and was disturbed to see numerous "Missing Person" flyers/photo that had been put up around town of this beautiful young woman's dissappearance and thought about it alot as I walked on. After returning home I kept abreast of the news reports until she was put to rest. I am touched by this special stone in her memory.
 

Aurigny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, 2016; Português Central, 2017; Port. Interior, 2017; Primitivo, 2018; Port. Coastal, 2018.
Small contribution just sent to help defray the costs (there's a Paypal link on RS's page, for those who might wish to do likewise).
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
(a continuation of "A Shell for Denise" thread)

There is now a memorial stone in place for Denise Thiem, American pilgrim who was killed along the Camino Frances in 2015. The people who use this forum have been great supporters of our efforts to appropriately remember our friend and sister pilgrim, Denise.
My thanks to you all.
Hola Rebekah - a very special thank you to you and all others associated with this event. Whilst the thoughts and prayers of pilgrims unknown cannot bring Denise back I hope this stone will help to ease a mother's pain.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
2015 was the year of my first Camino Frances, and I remember every aspect of that hardship. I remember when Denise's brother was first looking for her, every story, place name, and prayer.

When Denise was found--just before I left for Spain--I was tremendously relieved, and so glad that the family finally had some answers.

Now, I am glad in thinking that we have moved two and a half years beyond the tragedy of her death, and I am hopeful that the family can begin to heal.

Parents never really recover the loss of a child, but I really hope and pray that they know how much we all care, and I am very grateful for Rebekah's kind work.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
it would be wonderful if one of you tech-smart people could tag that park as "Pilgrim Memorial Grove" on Google maps. Is that possible?
Let me try this link again, I see the Pilgrim Memorial Grove already listed on Google Maps. Que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.

EDIT: Deleted bad link
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Except whoever did that put the pin in the wrong place, right?
You tag places in the search box; there's a pull-down menu. Pin the location (I used map coordinates), and the box opens up automatically. Press 'add a missing place' and there are boxes to fill out. Name, Address, Category, phone, website. There's also a thing that says 'claim this business, with more detail.
Reb, if you do it it will get done correctly!
 
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Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
Except whoever did that put the pin in the wrong place.
It shows this address --- Calle Ecce Homo, sn, 24718 Valdeviejas, León, Spain
And anyone with the exact location can suggest an edit to the file [Google map, left side of the page]. Que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
It shows this address --- Calle Ecce Homo, sn, 24718 Valdeviejas, León, Spain
And anyone with the exact location can suggest an edit to the file [Google map, left side of the page]. Que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
I put it into Google Maps but had some problems and Google is a bit slow here. I'll be checking things out so I can correct things. I think it now points to the right place and the associated website should soon be http://peaceableprojects.org
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
I put it into Google Maps but had some problems and Google is a bit slow here. I'll be checking things out so I can correct things. I think it now points to the right place and the associated website should soon be http://peaceableprojects.org
Thanks for the update. The link to the associated website works and the rotating photo is very clear with the nice yellow arrow. Que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.

Edit to add new link:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pilgrim+Memorial+Grove/@42.4588136,-6.0827206,550m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0xd375e0faf0f378d:0x9c965f5d6c4abdc4!8m2!3d42.4588097!4d-6.0805266
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
It shows this address --- Calle Ecce Homo, sn, 24718 Valdeviejas, León, Spain
And anyone with the exact location can suggest an edit to the file [Google map, left side of the page]. Que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
The Pilgrim Memorial Grove is OPPOSITE Calle Ecce Homo. There is a 4-way intersection IIRC. It is the intersection of Ctra. Santa Coloma (LE-142), the road leading out of Astorga, Calle Ecce Homo to the right, and Camino del Rio to the left.

The small municipal albergue "Ecce Homo" is down the street, Calle Ecce Homo, about 100 meters, on the left.

However the memorial park is adjacent to the chapel. It looks like a small church, complete with a single bell tower. You can see the bell...

For reference, and IIRC, immediately behind and adjacent to this plot of land (to the left as you are looking at it) is a LARGE family owned Carpintero shop / factory... (a woodworking or carpentry shop). But it IS the only large business with the family name as "Carpinteria Cepedana" emblazoned across the front of the building in large white letters.

I learned all of this a couple of years ago, when I walked to the albergue looking for the first memorial tree and completely missed the chapel on the left at the corner, on the opposite side of the road leading out of Astorga. Doh!!! Nate (of Natefaith fame) informed me of this when I arrived at Santiago... again, Doh!!!

BTW, I just looked on Google Maps and the "Pilgrim Memorial Grove" is where it should be. If you used this to search for it, you are close enough to find it. If you search for 'Calle Ecce Homo, Astorga, Spain' and zoom a tad, across the 4-way intersection, you will see the green marker for the Pilgrim Memorial Grove.

There is even a Google Street View photo too. If you open this and pan around, you can easily find the Carpinteria building with the Memorial Grove in front of it. Pan further and you can see the church too. It appears to be right where it is supposed to be...finally!

I hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
BTW, I just looked on Google Maps and the "Pilgrim Memorial Grove" is where it should be. If you used this to search for it, you are close enough to find it.
Your mileage may vary. I entered the location into Google maps and I still have to make edits to have it work right. I have at home a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone with various browsers and operating systems and different ages for those also. I cannot get consistent results displayed. Entering the location as Pilgrim Memorial Grove gets me locations on two continents. I get two locations in Spain, the correct position and the nearby albergue. I get two different addresses on two different roads. It will take awhile to get all this fixed.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
There is a plaque on the counter for Denise at Tomas' little place in Manjarin. It has a nice little saying about her finishing her pilgrimage before reaching Santiago, or something like that. Maybe someone has a picture of it.
 

Lucy Longpath

Lucy Longpath
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015), Puy Way (2016), North Wales Pilgrims Way (2017), Camino Vezelay(2018) &(2019)
I am also pleased that you, Rebekah have done this for Denise Thiem. I was on the Camino Frances in 2015 too. I remember seeing it on the local news on TV in a cafe one morning along with other pilgrims. I saw the posters in Astorga too, and thought often of Denise as we walked on from there, and particularly as we reached the Cowboy Bar and went in there to get a drink. It was so very sad.
 

caminamor

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Fraces
I'm in the middle of my first Camino ever, and spent a day in Castrillo de los Polvozares before learning about what happened to Denise so close to here. It was then I also read this thread and realized that I had passed near her memorial on the road out of Astorga. While passing in that area, without knowing why, I felt several feelings -- but mostly prayerful. Now, knowing it was a place of recognition for her life, it makes total sense those feelings came to me.

I'm very grateful for the people who have recorded the events at the end of her life through this forum and especially the people who have created spaces to hold her life in memorial. Although I didn't meet her I believe we are walking in her footsteps. I picked up a stone and will bring it to the Cruz to Hierro in her honor.

Amor y paz a todos.
 
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