Tuesday marks the anniversary of the tragic crash of bus 366 with Woodmore Elementary children on board. School officials said, "Six precious young children lost their lives in the incident on November 21, 2016, and parents, family, friends, teachers, school administrators and community leaders will come together tomorrow to continue the difficult healing process and to remember the children."
The events of the day will also honor the resilience of the Woodmore children of bus 366. “We mourn the loss of the Woodmore Six and we are humbled and inspired by the resilience of the children of bus 366 in the face of such adversity,” stated Dr.
Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “Many of these children are continuing their recovery process both physically and emotionally and their determination lifts our spirits.”
A private memorial service will be held at Woodmore Elementary at 4:30 p.m. for parents, the children of Woodmore, invited family friends and relatives, and the teachers and staff of Woodmore. The school will use the memorial service to continue the healing process. Only school personnel, Woodmore children, family and those invited will be able to enter the school for the private service.
A public candlelight vigil organized by the parents of the children on bus 366 will be held at 6:15 p.m. at the intersection of Midwoode Drive and Talley Road following the private memorial. The event will include special remembrances of the children with their favorite music, the lighting of candles, special speakers and a balloon release.
Hamilton County School Board Vice Chair Karitsa Jones remembered the tragedy at last week's board meeting. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about what I witnessed at the crash site and at the hospital that day,” Ms. Jones said. “Daily we think about those children who were lost, their families, their school families and how the results of that day have redefined so many lives.” Jones added, “We want to let the families know that they are not alone as we continue to travel down the long road of healing with them.”
Vice Chair Jones and Hamilton County Schools Chief of the Opportunity Zone Jill Levine have worked very closely with the families to provide support since the tragic day one year ago and as we approach this first anniversary. Representatives have assisted the parents in planning and logistics for the healing events to be held tomorrow. As part of the private memorial, a tree and a special marker for each child lost will be dedicated along with the resurfacing of the basketball court at the school that was so important to the children.
Hamilton County Schools also continues to work with teachers and staff at Woodmore Elementary as the healing process continues for them through the loss of these special young children. Ms. Jones concluded, “Healing is a difficult task but love conquers all. On this day, let us remember the children of bus 366 and our beloved Woodmore Six.”