An anonymous good Samaritan has placed miniature stockings under every nameplate on the Children’s Memorial Tree, bringing warm feelings to families of the deceased this Christmas.
The little red-and-white decorations were placed below every name, or about 230 plaques. Holiday bells and a small Christmas tree were planted on the memorial, and a wreath was arranged on a nearby tree.
Sue Hrbacek-Miller, a parent who pushed for the memorial’s creation in the early 1990s, said she was floored to hear that someone took the time to honor the children’s memories by decorating the monument.
“I don’t know when I have been so moved,” she said. “I can’t begin to express how thankful I am to have a community in Tahoe.”
Hrbacek-Miller lost her son, Rory, in a 1991 car crash that also resulted in the deaths of Casey Wells and Sandy Haynes. The teenagers were sophomores at South Tahoe High School.
Since then, Christmases have been difficult on Hrbacek-Miller, who remembers pleasant holidays with her son, she said. But seeing pictures of the decorated memorial this month has made her season a little brighter.
“This is like a miracle,” she said.
South Shore resident John Upton also expressed his appreciation for the thoughtful actions of an unknown benefactor. He lost his daughter, Julia, to leukemia in the spring of 1992.
“It was very heartwarming that someone would take the time and trouble to do that,” he said.
On Monday, Upton said he planned on visiting the site with his family.
“It’s a very important asset for the town to have that there,” he said of the memorial.