Chattanooga playground dedicated to Woodmore crash victims
Monday, New Covenant Fellowship Church dedicated its new playground to the children who died in the Talley Road bus crash. A friend of the pastor, who wants to stay anonymous, donated money for the new construction.
"It's a difficult time when you lose a child," said Bernie Miller, Pastor at New Covenant. " And I understood that first hand. It's a horrible experience."
The new playground replaces 13-year-old decaying equipment. It took a day and a half to build. It went up about a week ago - and the church hopes its helps support - a lifetime of healing for the Chattanooga community.
"As every kid jumps on this playground, they will remember the young lives this equipment is dedicated to." said Bernie Miller, Pastor of New Covenant. "Wouldn't it be great to have living bodies playing on something that's dedicated to someone who was just like them? Little, small, young."
Bernie says the church put up $2,000 of the money. The donor gave $7,000 to the church.
"He said look, a partner and I want to pay for the playgroun anonymously, but we want to do it for the kids," said Miller. "And I said, what kids? And he said, the Woodmore kids."
Now their names - D'Myunn, Zynna, Cor'Dayja, Zyaira, Zoie and Keonte - will be on a plaque at the playground dedicated to them.
D'Myunn's mother Diamound Brown says - she's thankful for the honor.
"I don't ever want to feel like my son is deceased or gone," said Diamound Brown. "I always want to have something for his name to live on and on and on. And this was a big deal for me."
It's something - her son who she calls a nature boy - would have loved.
"I wouldn't have been able to get him off it," said Brown. "He loved to come outside and play."
Brown says support shown through the playground, and other community donations give her strength.
"The type of support that came out of Chattanooga, I've never seen anything like it, and I think that's what's given me so much strength," said Brown. "To know that so many people care, and so many people care to have these kids live forever."
Miller says - he's glad the playground sends that message.
"As a church family, we are vicariously living their pain with them," said Miller. "And when the church found out that we were going to dedicate the playground to them - they just were ecstatic - gave a round of applause. Folks stood and really celebrated that."
Some members of the church are related to the crash victims. Cor'Dayja Jones' older cousin - is a member and was also at the ceremony.