Missing Kildare native remembered in unveiling of granite cross in Florida

Wicklow Celtic Cross erected to remember adults missing in Florida

Sarah Peppard

Reporter:

Sarah Peppard

Email:

sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

Missing Kildare native remembered in unveiling of granite cross in Florida

The Celtic Cross erected to remember those missing. Photo: Bruce Lipsky/Florida Times-Union

A family, who originate from Kildare, were part of a majorly significant event held in the US over the weekend.

A special granite Celtic cross, shipped from Co. Wicklow, was erected in Jacksonville on Friday (August 25) to remember adults missing in Florida.

Margaret Rowan, emigrated with her family to America in the 1990’s.

Her son, John Rowan Jr., went missing as he left for work in Jacksonville in February 2001.

The Rowan family worked tirelessly to find out what happened to their son, but to this day haven’t had any answers.

Since thousands go missing in Forida every year, Margaret set up the John Rowan Jr. Foundation to raise funds for a Celtic Cross to be erected in downtown Jacksonville.

The granite cross was shipped from Wicklow, through ports in England, New York City and New Jersey before arriving in Jacksonville. 

The special ceremony was host to guests like the Mayor of Jacksonville, city policy officers and sheriffs, and the state attorney.

At the event, Margaret thanked everyone who helped her make this happen:

"This memorial is a place for the families of missing adults in the state of Florida. Not having a resting place to visit is heartbreaking.

"Like I said, most families have nowhere to put a flower or kneel a pray for the their loved one on anniversaries, holidays birthdays or any occasion. I couldn’t stand this for my son so I have one for him.

"And my passion was to erect one for all of the missing adults in the state of Florida. I hope this memorial will bring comfort to
all of their families. I feel all of the missing loved ones memories are embedded in this memorial today and need to be
remembered.

"A little bit of Ireland landed in Jacksonville for this very special day as a memorial state wide for all of our missing adults in
Florida.

I know this memorial will not replace what most people have lost, but I hope it will be a place where we can all come to say
hello, a prayer, or spend a special moment when you want to reconnect with your lost loved one or simple take a moment to
pray for a loved one."

The Rowan family are over the moon with the Cross, which is now a point where families of those missing can come together.