PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - One year ago today, nine-year-old Aaron Beauchamp died when a St. Lucie County School bus and a semi-truck collided in Port St. Lucie.
His memory is being carried on now with a memorial garden that's in the back of his family's place of worship, Temple Beth El Israel in Port St. Lucie.
Last fal, Temple Beth El Israel's Rabbi Shafir Lobb walked around the temple with Aaron's 13-year-old brother Benjamin and the Beauchamp family trying to think of what Benjamin's bar mitzvah project could be.
"The discussion came up and said wouldn't it be great if we had a meditation garden on the grounds and wouldn't that be a great way to remember Aaron," Rabbi Lobb said. "Soon it became Aaron's garden."
Now a little more than six months later, Aaron's garden, which is known as "Gan Aaron" in Hebrew, is taking shape.
"It's a way of taking something that was tragic and turning it into something living something beautiful and something thriving," Rabbi Lobb said.
The garden was a community effort, but it is the work of a father and son.
Beauchamp's father Simon is the artist of the project and his brother Benjamin is doing this portion of the Aaron project for his bar mitzvah, Rabbi Lobb said.
It's more magnificent considering it started as a grassy area in the back of the Temple.
"It's been an amazing thing to watch grow from just basic grass to a couple of trenches in the grass to all of a sudden this beautiful garden," she said.
The garden has a Star of David shaped forever flowing water fountain.
It also has a stone walkway surrounded by plants, plus what will soon be an eternal flame.
It creates an everlasting memory of the fourth grader who died too soon.
"He was such a vivacious boy who loved life," Rabbi Lobb said. "He lived and this is a way for people to do that in his memory to be part of this garden and just walk in it and just feel the energy that's here. The beauty of it gives the idea of the beauty of the young man."
The Rabbi said once the parts come in, the eternal flame will be lit and a dedication ceremony is being planned.
We reached out to the Beauchamp family, but are told they are not in town.
We also reached out to Frances K. Sweet Elementary School to see if they were doing anything to honor the nine-year-old, but they declined to comment.
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