Should Webster create a memorial park on Lake Road?

12 Jan

Is it to early to think about a permanent memorial to honor the heroes we lost — and almost lost — on that terrible Christmas Eve morning?  Probably not. It’s a natural next step for a town which continues to grieve, but is slowly beginning to move beyond the tragic events of that day. The fire and the shootings, and the utter senselessness of it all, tore a hole in this community as nothing has ever done before.  And in the years to come, we all need something, or some place, to visit where we can show our respect and our love for those we lost, and — just as importantly — to remember how as a community we not only persevered, but became stronger.

There has been some talk about creating a memorial on Lake Road, at the site of the fires.  That’s an intriguing idea, but not as easy as it might sound.

For starters, the Lake Road families whose homes were destroyed are planning to rebuild, with assistance from the Town of Webster, which is waiving building fees, and local tradesmen and women who have offered their design and construction services.

But how about 191 Lake Road, where the shooter lived?  Webster Town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt explained in a recent email why that’s not an immediate solution, either.  He pointed out that the lot is small and there’s no room for parking.  Plus, the property is likely to be tied up in the courts for a while. “We still don’t know if it was the sister in the fire, and if it was, and she owned the house,” he said. If she did, it’s possible she left it to someone in her will, which would complicate matters further.

“We are waiting a little longer for things to calm down,” Nesbitt added, “then the town, police and West Webster Fire will sit down and plan a proper memorial.”

So eventually there will be a memorial, but the town is proceeding slowly. And that’s a very good idea, because this memorial, more than any other, has to be done right.



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