Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Todd Densmore
Appomattox County, VA - The Appomattox County High School Memorial Garden is well underway to celebrate the lives of three students gunned down in January. The memorial will honor Morgan Dobyns, Emily Quarles and Bo Scruggs, as well as 25 others who have died since the school opened in 1974. These are students as well as staff.
The idea for this came from student Kat Dorsi. In February, she set up a petition to get the memorial built. Her efforts have finally paid off. The garden is about halfway done. Those building it are doing so for free.
The goal is to keep the memory alive.
"Honor the victims of that recent shooting, that horrible tragedy," said Terry Kline, Landscape Designer with Allied Design.
Kline showed us the blueprint for what is to come.
"You can walk in and around and, you know, and kind of reflect on the reason for the garden," said Kline.
RSG Landscaping is donating all the labor. They and other area businesses are paying for the materials.
"We wanted to do whatever we could to help as many people as we could. And the only way we knew to do that was to help get involved in this," said Duane Shumaker, Vice President, RSG Landscaping and Lawn Care.
The garden will have a three-tier fountain. The names of those lost will be etched into pavers.
"It tears me up to even think about it. I have two boys in high school in Bedford County so it really hits home," said Kline.
It hits home for math teacher Marie Morgan too. Morgan has taught at the school for 30 years and knew most of the people who will be honored though the memorial.
"Of the 28 I would say at least 18 to 20," said Morgan.
When asked if the memorial is hard to look at, she said, "No. Exact opposite. It's wonderful to see that we are remembering them and honoring them."
Landscapers say they hope to finish by next week. They tell us a co-worker's step-daughter was killed in the homicide. A dedication is tentatively planned for September or October. A date has not been set. The memorial is in the school's courtyard.