The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Featured Story

May 17, 2014

Gone, but not forgotten: Plaza Towers 7 Memorial honors those killed

MOORE, Okla. — Seven bright, interesting and special children who lost their lives last year in the May 20, 2013, EF-5 tornado always will remembered by their family and dearest friends.

Now with the building of the Plaza Towers 7 Memorial, Kyle Davis, JaNae Hornsby, Antonia Candelaria, Emily Conatzer, Sydney Angle, Nicholas McCabe and Christopher Legg also will always be remembered by the community they lived in and loved. Set to be open in August along with the 2014-2015 school year, the memorial will remember those lost while representing the resilience of Plaza Towers Elementary School.

Chad Vice, of Havenbrook Funeral Home and Norman Public Schools Board of Education member who has been working on the memorial since its inception, said the design of the memorial came to life after a private meeting with the families of the seven children.

“We broke bread and spent time with them and asked them ‘What is it you want to remember about your children?’” Vice said. “We didn’t want the event to overshadow these kids. Through the tears and discussion we came to the memorial design.”

The design also is in keeping with the purpose and needs of an elementary school. Vice said the design paves the way for the future and is not solely about death.

The memorial will be located at the new Plaza Towers Elementary School, which is under construction at the same site as the original school. The memorial will be located at the entrance of the school and welcome students as a beacon of hope.

The memorial design will incorporate five key elements. The first element will be seven solid granite benches with the names of each student and a special object carved into the benches symbolizing the individuality of each child. Second, a large shade tree will be planted in the lawn next to the benches to provide shade for those seated in the area.

Next, the memorial will be paved with thick granite slabs in two colors — gray and mahogany. The mahogany granite will form seven rays of sun, a symbol of happiness that each child brought to the school and their family, friends and community. Inspirational messages create the fourth element of the memorial. Words like that of “dance, learn, inspire, laugh, friendship and dream” will encompass both the spirit of the seven children, while staying perfectly aligned with the purpose of an elementary school, Vice said.

Lastly, seven silhouettes of children (three boys and four girls) will be engraved onto plaques on the wall of the school entrance, as if they were running, walking or skipping.

Each silhouette will include a personal effect that will represent items special to the children’s lives.

Recently Vice, along with others who have orchestrated the memorial, visited the site to check on its progress.

“Walking through the school, there is a presence there that is just awesome. You can just feel it,” Vice said.

Because the site has been under construction, Vice said the parents of the children the memorial honors had not been able to return to the site of their children’s deaths. He said he hoped the memorial would envelope the parents in a peace and allow healing to take place.

“One of the moms said to me, ‘I cannot wait to go in there at night, in the stillness of the night, and sit on my son’s bench and think about him and take him in,’” Vice said.

Funding for the memorial is completely reliant on private donations. Vice said that to be completed, the memorial needs to raise $180,000. To donate, go to plazatowers7.org or call Havenbrook Funeral home at (405) 329-0101. All funding will be administered by the Moore Public Schools Foundation, a 501 (c)(3). Donations are tax deductible.

“This is sacred ground and holy ground. Seven vibrant kids went to school in the morning and by Monday afternoon they were gone,” Vice said. “That’s why it’s so important to yes, rebuild and carry on, but also never forget what was taken.

“Out of my 30 years, this is the most important work I’ve ever done because it’s timeless and will long outlive you or me. It’s so important we get it right.”

Organizers and supporters of the memorial include Republic Bank & Trust, Moore Funeral and Cremation, Havenbrook Funeral Home, Moore Public Schools, Moore Public Schools Foundation, Levant Technologies, Trifecta Communications and Boldt.

For information about the Plaza Towers 7 Memorial or to donate, go online to plazatowers7.org.

Parker writes for the Norman Transcript.

1
Text Only
Featured Story
  • Oil-Covered Owls_2_JN.jpg UPDATE: Second barn owl dies from oil exposure

    A second barn owl found coated in oil from an uncovered oil field tank has died.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Link

  • storm_W.jpg Storm victims face dilemma: accept loans or reject them

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Quilts_4_BH_W.jpg History of an art form

    Woven amongst the fabric, patterns and stitches in the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s newest special exhibit are stories of past generations.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Academy.jpg State prisons expand their reach to train new officers

    On a recent day, a class in the McAlester program was filled with the sounds of bodies thudding onto thick, rainbow-colored pads held together by duct tape, along with heavy breathing and tapping as cadets indicated they’d successfully been subdued.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • FortStillFacility.jpg FBI: No arrests yet in scam targeting migrant kids

    Con artists use private information about the children to contact their family members and demand payment for bogus processing and travel expenses needed to reunite the kids with their relatives. Families with migrants in Texas and Oklahoma have been targeted.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • Child Tax Credit_Hass.jpg House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    With nearly all Republicans voting in favor and most Democrats opposed, the bill cleared the House by a vote of 237-173. The White House threatened to veto the bill, though the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass it.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Oil-Covered Owls_1_JN.jpg Caretaker: One of 2 oil-covered owls has died

    Jean Neal and her husband, Jim, of Fairview, have been caring for the owls since Tuesday, July 22, 2014, when they received them from Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, which is investigating the incident and the death of several other birds found at a neglected oil field tank site.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Virginia Storm_Hass.jpg 2 dead, dozens hurt after storm at Va. campground

    "All hell broke loose. We got an emergency message on a cellphone and within 30 seconds, the thing hit and it blew down 40, 50 trees in the park." — Joe Colony, who has been coming to the campground for 30 years

    July 24, 2014 7 Photos

  • money.jpg Affordable Care Act 80/20 rule will provide refunds to many Oklahomans

    According to Alex Kotran, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Oklahoma residents will get $6.7 million in refunds from health insurance companies this summer.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oil Drilling Earthqua_Hass.jpg Oil company geologist to talk Okla. earthquakes

    Continental Resources' Vice President of Geology Glen Brown will deliver a luncheon address Wednesday to members of the Oklahoma Geological Society.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
House Ads
Facebook