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Memorial Garden Unveiled in Old Town 

The lives of seven Old Town High School students cut short between 2000 and 2010 are being celebrated in a memorial garden at the high school.For loved ones, it’s something they’ve waited a long time for.”As each student passes on, we think that our children have been forgotten and it’s just such an honor that he’s remembering them this way,” said Jeanne Shaw, who lost her son Eliot in March of 2006. Jason Ketchen attended the garden dedication to remember two of his friends who have died, “There’s a tremendous amount of tragic accidents, tragedies that go on here and I think this is long awaited.”For Amy Young, who lost her son Ryan five years ago, she is thrilled the memorial has been set up, “When we lost Ryan, I always wanted something to be here at the high school for the kids because as most people know Old Town has had more than their fair share of loss, so Paul closed that look for me.”Paul Nelson is a junior at Old Town High, he lost a friend in March and he knew he wanted to honor him and other. Nelson created the memorial garden for his Eagle Scout Badge. “Counting fundraising and project time plus thinking and working everything out, it must have been 200 – 220 hours,” said Nelson.Each student has a plaque with their name on it and a shrub their parents picked out.Brittnie Young’s brother Ryan died five years ago and she says the garden is a great way for friends to remember those who have passed. “This is a place where they can all come and hang out after school if they want to just talk.”As for Nelson, he says he’s just happy the families and friends are proud of the memorial. “It’s a path leading into a circle because a circle is never ending and these people will be never ending, their memories will be never ending in our minds.”Through his fundraising for this project, Nelson collected more money than he needed so he will donated those funds to Old Town High School for maintenance.