GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee Department of Transportation awarding over $850k in grant money to construct a Wildfires Memorial and Tribute to the city of Gatlinburg and Sevier County.
Gov. Bill Lee and TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright presented the check to multiple Sevier County and Gatlinburg city officials on September 16 at the Tennessee State Capitol.
“The Wildfires and Memorial Tribute is an important project for Sevier County,” said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. “This grant will assist Sevier County and Gatlinburg in ensuring the project is a success. We thank Governor Bill Lee and Commissioner Bright and our elected officials for their support.”
Speaking with WATE 6 On Your Side, the son of Alice Hagler, who was killed in the Sevier County Wildfires, said he is hopeful the memorial will become a place of peace.
“I hope its a place for forgiveness, for the whole city, for everybody. i hope its somewhere that we can all come together and be happy and remember…” said James Wood.
Wood continued, “and enjoy what they’ve come up with and what they’re gonna do. I hope its gonna be thankful and appreciative for the firefighters, the first responders… thankful for them, but I personally hope it’s something that the families themselves can come to.”
The Wildfires Memorial and Tribute Project will be located at Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg. The project aiming to honor the first responders who came to help the Smoky Mountains in a dire situation and to memorialize those who lost their lives.