Family of 2-Year-Old Killed by Alligator Finds Solace in Disney World's Lighthouse Tribute
Disney World has unveiled a statue in honor of the 2-year-old boy that was killed by an alligator last year.
Lane Graves was dragged to his death by the animal at Disney World in Orlando while he and his family, including sister Ella, were vacationing there in June 2016.
The toddler had just stepped into the water at the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort when the alligator grabbed him, to the horror of his family.
The new lighthouse statue is a symbol of the Lane Thomas Foundation, which serves to act “as a beacon of hope in the depths of despair, to create a strong base of support for families in crisis,” according to their site.
The lighthouse features two blue stars and a plaque that reads, “Presented to the Lane Thomas Foundation. A beacon of hope. A light of love.”
The color blue became the little boy’s signature color. At the time of his death, neighbors in his Elkton, Nebraska, community rallied around the family, putting blue ribbons around trees, mailboxes and doors in honor of the toddler.
The WoodmenLife Towner in Omaha even lit up in blue and the Graves asked supporters to wear blue ribbons in honor of their late son.
The Graves family said they find solace in Disney’s lighthouse.
“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,” they said in a statement to the Orlando Sentinel. “We will continue to honor Lane and preserve his spirit through the Lane Thomas Foundation.”