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There was a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for the Los Alamos High School Memorial Garden. The formal dedication presented the newly completed garden to the high school students and the families, who had lost loved ones at much too early an age.
Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt said the memorial garden is intended to be a quiet place for students, family and friends to gather in remembrance of the students, whose names are listed on a wall.
In his remarks, Schmidt thanked the Rotary Club of Los Alamos for making the garden possible. He said the place is for families to walk and remember, as well as sit and reflect on the memory of their loved ones.
Rotary Club President Linda Hull spoke of the three years of fundraising and preparation that made the garden possible. She mourned the passing of all of the students named there and expressed the hope that no more names would be added.
High school principal Sandy Warnock said, “This garden reminds us of how precious life is. This is a garden that will forever be a place to remember those who left us too early.”
Cassidy Reeves, LAHS Student Council vice president, accepted the garden on behalf of the students.
School Board member Judy Bjarke-McKenzie said, “The garden added a special quality and created a special place of comfort for families.”
Several parents of the students named on the wall also expressed their gratitude to the Rotary Club for the garden.
Igor Wood reflected that his daughter Erin had been selected as a Rotary Exchange student, but was never able to make the trip overseas. Eric Ferm was thankful for the garden and reflected that his daughter Amanda loved the outdoors.
“This garden is important,” he said.
Robyn Ladino said the garden was more beautiful than she could have imagined. Her daughter Beth, had once walked these grounds. In the spring, Robyn looked forward to the tulips blooming.
Jennifer Trujillo, mother of Nik Ventura-Arencon, expressed thanks and gratitude for the garden. She said she felt the place is important and it would give them a special place to remember their son.
District Assets Manager Joan Ahlers, who organized the event, offered special praise to the NJROTC students for their presentation of colors at the beginning of the ceremony. She also acknowledged the contributions of past Rotary President Skip King and current President Hull, for keeping the dream of the garden alive over these past three years. Also recognized were Sanjay Engineer of FBT Architects, that designed the landscape; L.A. Landscape and More; and Oasis Construction.