There is one good thing though, we don't have to say good-bye, because I know someday I'll see you again. Good friends don't say goodbye, they say, "See you," OK, buddy? - from a letter from Michael Nelson, best friend of Jayson Coleman.Children at J.A. Taylor Elementary School celebrated the life of Jayson Coleman Thursday morning by planting a tree in the schoolyard for the young boy who was killed in a June drowning accident.
As taps played, schoolmates from all grades gathered around the flagpole; watched as the flag was raised to half-staff; recited the Pledge of Allegiance and U.S. Constitution's Preamble; and meditated quietly about their friend.
Jayson's mother, Anna Marie Coleman, told the children they have rich spirits and should make the most of their lives.
After the ceremony, about 120 children including members of Jayson's class who are now entering the fifth grade, gathered at the west side of the school to plant a Thundercloud Flower Plum tree donated by a local nursery.
Jayson's father, Ron Coleman, asked in a dedicatory prayer that the site be kept as memorial for family members and friends. "We hope it will help the students hold on to some wonderful memories. We hope they will think about those memories today and get along with other things that are special for them," said Taylor Elementary principal Jean Mad-sen.
Jason's mother recounted how her children and her fiance were boating on Utah Lake when Jason fell in. Her fiance dove in after Jason and hit his head on a rock. Both died. The other three Coleman children were rescued by a passing fisherman. Jennifer, another Taylor Elementary student, almost drowned too, she said.
"After Jason drowned, his brother and sister came and asked me, `Are we going to plant a tree?' I said that I had already thought about it. I imagine it will become a tradition," said Madsen.
"I feel that it is very special that Jason had an opportunity to go to school here. It is a wonderful school and wonderful children in this area," she said.
Although the plum tree is a sapling now, it should grow to be about 25 feet tall by the time Jayson would have graduated from high school.
The tree is the second planted in the school yard following the death of a Taylor Elementary student. The first was planted last spring after acrid smoke filled a Centerville home, suffocating Deja Rawlins, his father and two other siblings.