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A group of senior boys walked out of the choir concert the week of Thanksgiving in 2015 and saw that someone had parked their car on top of the Tyler Rathbun memorial.
This memorial, a concrete island with stones on top spelling “RIPTR: sits in the back of the East parking lot. It was made to commemorate the death of Tyler Rathbun, an East student killed four years ago in an ATV accident. They felt shock, then fury, then crushing sadness.
“It was extremely disrespectful that someone would park right on the memorial, especially since the anniversary of his death was coming up,” senior Mark Manalo said.
The anniversary of his death, Nov. 25, was coming up, and the boys decided that they should fix it up.
During Thanksgiving break, seniors Mark Manalo, Davis Finke, Hayes Hendricks, Luke Ehly and Jack Tyler spent their days off revamping the whole memorial.
They bought bags and bags of mulch to cover the old mulch. They picked up all the trash and the weeds that were growing around it. Then they rearranged the stones that showed the date of his death.
The boys filmed their day and made a timelapse video and shared it through Instagram and Twitter.
“I gave the video to Tyler’s mom on his birthday, said Manalo, she really liked it.”
They want the younger kids to remember Rathbun and respect the legacy he left. And that starts with recognizing the memorial.