One year ago, Lane Graves was tragically killed by an alligator while playing near the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Walt Disney World resort. Today, his family continues to honor the 2-year-old boy, and Disney wants to help keep the memory of Lane alive, as well.
Walt Disney World Resort has announced that it is planning to build a lighthouse on the property in Lane's memory, Orlando Sentinel reports. The lighthouse is a symbol representing the Lane Thomas Foundation, which was created by the toddler's parents, Matt and Melissa, as a "beacon of hope" for families in crisis.
"To provide continued awareness of the foundation and its mission, we've commissioned an original sculpture of the lighthouse the foundation uses as a symbol of love and hope, to be installed on our property this summer," George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, said in a statement to the Sentinel this week.
On June 14, 2016, Lane was visiting Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Bay Lake, Florida with his family when an alligator dragged the little boy under the water at the Seven Seas Lagoon. His parents immediately attempted to save him, but sadly, the toddler was drowned by the gator.
Lane's father released a statement two weeks ago, explaining that the family lives "quietly and still do not want to talk publicly about that day," the Sentinel reports. Melissa and Matt last publicly spoke about their son in September 2016, when their foundation celebrated what would have been Lane's third birthday.
"Anyone who knows me knows I don't like to speak but, my baby, I owe it to him to honor him," Melissa Graves told the crowd gathered on September 3. "So his mommy needed to say, 'Happy birthday Laney. […] You'll always be Mommy's loving, sweet baby boy."
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