Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Disney World unveils sculpture to honor 2-year-old boy killed by a gator

Disney World has unveiled a lighthouse sculpture to honor the 2-year-old boy who died last year in an alligator attack on the beach of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Lane Thomas Foundation
Lane Thomas Graves wanted to build a sandcastle on the beach at the resort after stormy weather canceled an outdoor movie. An alligator pulled the boy under the water into the Seven Seas Lagoon as his father, Matt Graves, tried to save him.

The lighthouse is the symbol used by the foundation created by the family to memorialize Lane. The Nebraska family - Matt, his wife, Ella and their daughter Melissa - created The Lane Thomas Foundation to serve as a "beacon of hope in the depths of despair, to create a strong base of support for families in crisis," according to the foundation's website.

The Graves family said in a statement about the sculpture said: "We find comfort that so many people continue to remember our sweet boy, Lane, and we believe the lighthouse stands as a beacon of hope and support for families in the depths of despair. We will continue to honor Lane and preserve his spirit through the Lane Thomas Foundation.”

Since the the June 14, 2016 attack Disney built wider boulder walls along the Seven Seas Lagoon and erected warning signs of alligators and snakes near all water on Disney property. The family said they were not going to file a lawsuit against Disney.

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