Monday morning the school had a dedication ceremony in the
gymnasium. The ceremony included all students, faculty and staff
from the school, along with some family members of the Constant/Gee
Suzie Foran and Marge Aper gave a presentation (see below) that
explained the memorial and the fond memories members of Chester-East
Lincoln School hold close of the children, along with a poem.
After the presentation, the school listened to the song "Love
Lift Us Up Where We Belong." Following the song, the eighth- and
sixth-grade classes led the group outside to the living memorial,
where each student, teacher, faculty member and guest released a
The following letter, written and presented by kindergarten
teacher Suzie Foran, describes the memorial in detail.
We are gathered here this morning to
dedicate the living memorial in memory of three members of our
school community: Justina Constant, Dillen Constant and Austin Gee.
First, we would like to thank the people who have planned, developed
and supported this project: Curry Professional Lawn Maintenance,
Peasley Monuments, the Chester-East Lincoln school board, the
Chester-East Lincoln Education Association, the Chester-East Lincoln
student council, the CEL Memorial Committee (Mrs. Murphy, Mrs.
Scott, Mrs. Pagel and Mrs. Foran), Randy Ely, and all the people who
volunteered this morning to help with the balloons.
The memorial consists of three
flowering crab apple trees. Each tree represents one of the
children. Next to each tree is a stone with a personalized
The middle tree with pink flowers is
for Justina. The inscription on Justina's stone reads: "The love of
books will let you know that reading helps your mind grow."
[to top of second column]
The two white flowering trees have
been planted for Dillen and Austin. Dillen's stone reads: "A smile
will always make your day, a laugh can make tears fade away."
Austin's stone reads: "Let the music
continue on and never let the song be gone."
The small rosebush in the front has
been planted for their little sister, Tabitha Gee, who attended our
early childhood class at C-EL. The inscription on the stone next to
Tabitha's rosebush reads: "Forever in our hearts."
Hopefully, someday Tabitha will be
able to visit our memorial garden and realize how she and her
brothers and sister will be "forever in our hearts."
Having been Justina, Dillen and
Austin's kindergarten teacher, I have fond memories of each of them
tucked away in my heart -- as I am sure many of you do too.
The school then heard a poem by Sarah Blackstone called "My
In conclusion, students released their balloons, which
represented Justina, Dillen and Austin's favorite colors.
[Text from file received from