Disney unveils statue to honor two-year-old boy killed by alligator

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  Aug. 8, 2017 at 1:30 PM
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Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Walt Disney World has unveiled a statue to commemorate Lane Thomas Graves, the two-year-old boy who was killed in an alligator attack at the Orlando, Fla., park last year.

The statue depicts a lighthouse representing a "beacon of hope" for families in crisis, Disney said. The statue has a plaque that reads: "Presented to the Lane Thomas Foundation. A beacon of hope. A light of love."

"The lighthouse sculpture has been installed to help spread awareness of the Lane Thomas Foundation, which was established to provide assistance and support to families whose children need organ transplants," Disney added.

The boy was playing on the sand of a beach on the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa on June 14, 2016, when an alligator attacked. No signs were posted advising guests to avoid swimming in the lagoon and no warnings were posted of potential risks of alligators.

Disney added warning signs throughout the property after the attack.

The Lane Thomas Foundation was established by Lane's parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, to commemorate their son.

"We find comfort that so many people continue to remember our sweet boy, Lane, and we believe the lighthouse stands as a beacon of hope and support for families in the depths of despair," the Graves family said in a statement. "We will continue to honor Lane and preserve his spirit through the Lane Thomas Foundation."

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