Walt Disney World has announced it will erect a lighthouse in memory of Lane Graves, who was killed by an alligator a year ago today on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Lane’s parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, chose the lighthouse “as a beacon of hope in the depths of despair” as a symbol for the foundation they started after their 2-year-old died June 16, 2016.
“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.
Disney has not released the site of the lighthouse.
The Nebraska family was staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa when Lane was playing near the lagoon and an alligator grabbed the boy and pulled him into the water. Matt Graves tried to save his son. It took 16 hours to recover Lane’s body.
Since the accident, Disney has installed a boulder wall around the lagoon and signs warning guests about the dangers of alligators and snakes in the area.
The Lane Graves Foundation provides financial support to families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants at hospitals in Omaha, Neb.
“Lane was a beaming, spirited, and loving child who cared for his family deeply and creating The Lane Thomas Foundation is the best way to pass on the legacy he left on this world,” said a statement on the foundation’s Facebook page.