A little more than a year ago, a 2-year-old boy by the name of Lane Thomas Graves lost his life after an alligator attack at Walt Disney World, and now, his memory has been honored with a lighthouse. Nothing can ever bring little Lane back, but a lighthouse statue, the symbol of the Lane Thomas Foundation, is now in place at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where the tragedy took place in the summer of 2016.
It was first reported back in July that Disney was working with the Lane Thomas Foundation to honor the child's memory. The organization works to help support the families who have been there for them during this awful time, and the lighthouse is seen as a "beacon of hope in the depths of despair."
As reported by WFTV, the Lane Thomas Foundation was also set up to support pediatric organ donation.
With that being said, Disney wanted to have the lighthouse statue put in place on the grounds of the Grand Floridian to keep the memory of Lane Graves in place forever. It wasn't known when the lighthouse would be completed and revealed when announced in July, but it is there now, and it is absolutely breathtaking.
All guests who visit Disney's Grand Floridian Resort can walk along the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and see it.
This beautiful Lane Thomas Graves memorial lighthouse now inplace at The Grand Floridian #LaneThomasFoundation #GrandFloridian #Disney pic.twitter.com/YK4QSuOXnR
— The Hopkins (@Themeparkcouple) August 8, 2017
It was on June 14, 2016, that little Lane and his family were on a vacation in Walt Disney World and spending time on the beach at the Grand Floridian. Lane was simply playing in the sand when an alligator appeared, grabbed him, and pulled him back into the water.
His father, Matt Graves, tried to free his son from the alligator, but he was unsuccessful in his attempt. It took police more than 16 hours of searching to find the child, and when they did find Lane's body, his death was ultimately ruled accidental.
Even though there is no amount of time or material things that can bring Lane back, the family is happy with the lighthouse statue which has been erected in his honor.
A few photos of the @LaneThomasFnd memorial lighthouse statue at Grand Floridian. pic.twitter.com/MioELJDXJd
— ThrillGeek (@thrillgeek) August 7, 2017
Ever since the horrible incident last year, the Walt Disney World Resort has changed a lot of things regarding its waterways and beaches. Permanent walls of rocks and fences were put in place to keep the walkways/beaches farther apart from the waterways.
There has been signage erected all around the property to warn guests of the dangerous creatures that may be in the water. Despite this being Walt Disney World, it is still outside and is still in parts of nature, which can bring about animals and other natural troubles.
The alligator attack that killed Lane Thomas Graves at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort last year is one that will never be forgotten. Still, his family is looking to make sure that the 2-year-old boy is who people remember more than what ended his life. This new lighthouse statue at Walt Disney World will help them accomplish that and perhaps be a sign of hope for all those dealing with their own tragedies.
[Featured Image by Danny Cox]