The Thalidomide Memorial
A message from Rosie – Lead campaigner for a lasting memorial
“As Thalidomide-impaired people now enter the third quarter of our lives, it is considered fitting that the contribution that we have made to UK history is marked with a suitable memorial.
Our contribution has extended to bringing about changes in legislation and social policy that has seen society become more accepting of disabled people.
So many people have been touched by the Thalidomide story. Most people know of the hardship which we and our parents endured during our early lives, but what should not be forgotten is the contribution our extended families, journalists, parliamentarians and ordinary people up and down the United Kingdom made to our fight for justice as well.
In 1990, I took part in an Anglia Television documentary, and during the filming of the documentary, I expressed the view that …
“In about 60 years time Thalidomide people will be extinct, we will go down in the history books as a generation of people that will, or at least, should never appear again. We are just a blip in the history of mankind”.
In probably, no more than 30 years time, the generation of so-called Thalidomide Children (that I have been proud to be part of) will no longer be able to bear testament to the terrible consequences of ill-thought drug manufacture.
We may well become a “blip” in history.
It is to ensure we are not a “blip” that I, along with my husband Stephen, and life-long friend Eddie Freeman (both of whom also have Thalidomide impairments) have been working hard, for the last six years, toward the establishment of a lasting memorial that will ensure our story is not lost in some dusty history book.
The purpose of the memorial is to
Honour those persons, their families and others who have been, and
continue to be affected by the Thalidomide tragedy
The memorial will transcend gender, race and religious issues and will be accessible to all.
The memorial is linked to a Thalidomide Memorial Website, ensuring knowledge and information about the memorial will have a worldwide presence – http://www.thalidomidememorial.com/Default
We have been supported in our quest by people from all over the United Kingdom. Ordinary people who understand our desire for the story never to be forgotten; leaders from industry and commerce; and celebrities from the sports and entertainment world have all endorsed the memorial campaign.
It has not been an easy campaign, but worthy campaigns are never easy. However, we have finally achieved our aim.
Our memorial is about remembering. Remembering with pride the work that we and our parents did, and continue to do, to make the United Kingdom a more accepting and accessible country; Remembering those who have helped us; Remembering our parents; And remembering those of our number whose lives were cut short as a consequence of living with their Thalidomide impairments.
Ultimately I want to be able to say with pride that … To remember is to care.”
Rosaleen Moriarty-Simmonds OBE