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Cohasset community gathers closer in support of Ana Walshe – Boston Herald


Sunlight stayed to brighten the outpouring of hope and love the Cohasset community brought for Ana Walshe on the town Common 11 days after she vanished in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

“We feel isolated by fear, by grief, and that is one of the most powerful ways in which trauma can harm us, to separate us from each other, to make us feel helpless, afraid and alone,” said the Rev. Maggie Arnold, of Cohasset’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, in the vigil’s third prayer Thursday afternoon.

She added “we are not islands unto ourselves, we are a community, a human family, and we are created to help and support each other in friendship and love.”

The sunlight had just begun to dim for a minute of silence, during which heads bowed and silent prayer could be seen playing across the lips of those in attendance.

“Amazing Grace” played out the twilight through the loudspeakers, bolstered by humming and, here and there, a quavering voice. Then all that remained were the candles on the ground and the lights that remained on the park’s trees, put there for Christmas.

Many of the attendees the Herald spoke with had not known Ana, or the Walshe family at all, but many came for the same reasons, they said: to share in a sense of community in a place that feels, in the words of resident Ralph Dunham, “as far away as you’d think you could be for something like this to happen. … You just don’t want to be alone.”

He also said that the case is of great interest because “every day there is a new puzzle piece” that leaves him “in a state of disbelief.”

Gary Burrow, spokesman for a group of three attendees in which the others didn’t want to give their name carried “strong Cohasset roots,” said “These types of mysteries are very unique compared to tragedies in town. … This is very different. This does not happen here. And it really rocked us.”

One woman confirmed that she knew Ana Walshe with a small nod before averting her eyes and walking on, saying, “It’s just too sad.”

“It’s not every day that this happens. That’s why we’re gathering together today, to gather warmth inside ourselves,” said resident Gracie Thompson. “It’s devastating for the community. And those poor boys.”

The three Walshe boys, all six or younger, were the central figures in many of the attendee’s minds.


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