GATLINBURG (WATE) – Pi Beta Phi Elementary School students and staff have been through a lot in the months since the Gatlinburg wildfires.
The school lost students Chloe and Lily Reed on November 28. The girls, along with their mother, were killed trying to flee from the wildfires at they home off Wiley Oakley Drive. Their father Michael Reed search for them for days before their bodies were discovered not far from their home.
Previous story: Constance, Chloe, Lily Reed confirmed dead in Gatlinburg fires
Students gathered Wednesday in the school’s garden and planted a big lead magnolia tree in memory of the sisters. The tree is native to the area and will eventually grow to around 30 feet. Students also read poems, played “Amazing Grace” and blew bubbles.
Michael Reed hugged, high-fived and cried with students and staff during the ceremony. Pi Beta Phi’s principal says the girls will always be a part of the community.
“They were just the vibrant smiles. Lily was an amazing girl; Chloe was too. Lily, very bubbly personality and they’re just forever a part of the Pi Beta Phi family. We do have a plaque that will go in front of the tree and the plaque will say ‘Forever in our hearts,'” said Principal Carey Wood.
Wood says the plaque should be in place in a couple of weeks.