SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Members of the Keep Smithville Beautiful Committee and town employees have finalized plans for a new memorial park.
Thanks to a grant and donations, the park will offer a number of outdoor features with more being added as time goes on.
"We just going to add on as long as we can," adds Edna Cox, president of Keep Smithville beautiful. "We're going to put picnic tables by the gazebo and park benches for everyone to come out, sit and enjoy."
The park will also feature two monuments.
One is funded from a grant; the other is coming from a fund set up by some parents of the Class of 2011 at Smithville High School.
"So much was given to our young people during this difficult period of time," adds Susan Grimes, Smithville resident. "So many people stepped up for this to help us out, and it was the least that these seniors could do to give back to the community."
Thanks to an abundance of prom dresses that were donated shortly after the tornado in 2011, a fund was created.
Money from that fund is now going towards paying for a monument that will feature all 16 names of the people who perished.
"The people who gave their lives that day, we want them to be remembered," adds Grimes. "Our class will never forget these people. We want to make sure the classes ahead of them never forgot."
Plans call for the new Smithville Memorial Park to be utilized as a place where events can be held year round as well as a place to honor the ones who lost their lives.
"We will be holding special events there," adds Kim Johnson, disaster recovery workforce assistant. "It will be a place for people to go memoralize the people that we lost in the community."
Construction of the new memorial park is expected to start once the weather cooperates.