Night lights illuminate Children’s Memorial |

Night lights illuminate Children’s Memorial

The new “night lights” at the Children’s Memorial at Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Wildwood Avenue will be dedicated during a ceremony at 2 p.m. July 25. All are welcome to attend.

The memorial was created in 1994 with 36 names engraved on brass plates. Over the years, the names have multiplied to 223.

The memorial began as a way to remember local children, and has expanded to include the memory of children from 14 other states and four countries.

In early 1991, a carrying five teenage boys hit a patch of black ice, spun out and crashed into a tree on Pioneer Trail. Three of the young men died in the accident: Rory Hrbacek, Sandy Haynes and Casey Wells.

Sue Hrbacek, the mother of Rory Hrbacek, began a personal crusade, in the name of her young son and the other two boys, to have a guard rail installed and 13 trees removed, including the tree that ended the lives of the three young men. Instead of having the largest tree destroyed, her dream was to turn the object of her grief into a perpetual memorial to her son, his two friends and all children of our community who have passed away far too early.

In October 1994, Hrbacek’s dream became a reality.

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Recently, “night lights” were installed to cast a soft glow of light onto the memorial after dark. The vision came from another mother’s memory, how her son always reminded her to leave a light on at night so that he would not be afraid of the dark. It was her wish that all the children represented on that memorial be at rest with the light on.

For information, contact Candice Williams at (530) 542-2733.