News: CDC holds tree dedication in memory of Jessica Lee
Story by Dawn Arden
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - Fort Leonard Wood’s Child Development Center honored the memory of Jessica Lee and her 4-year-old son, Elyjah, with a tree dedication at Bldg. 408 on Dec. 18.
Both Jessica and Elyjah were victims of the flooding that occurred in Waynesville and the surrounding areas during August of 2013. Jessica was a child care worker at the Fort Leonard Wood CDC.
Her CDC family wanted to find the perfect way to memorialize her and Elyjah’s lives.
“This is a day that we’ve waited a long time for,” said Joyce Jones, center director. “I would see a lot of Jessica here at the CDC, and I know all of you have warm thoughts in your hearts for them.”
Jones also thanked the Lee family for sharing their daughter with everyone.
“The trees (planted in their honor) will continue to live. They will be facing anyone that comes in, and they will be welcoming them to the Child Development Center and into the work that we do every day,” Jones said.
Maj. Michael and Michelle Lee, Jessica’s parents, unveiled plaques marking the trees while guests gazed upon a portrait of Lee and her son.
“She was so excited to work here, she loved what she did,” Michelle Lee said. “I just want to say thank you for keeping their memory alive, it means a lot to us. We miss her dearly; we miss Ely dearly.”
Jones went on to thank the guests for coming out, showing support for the Family, and sharing in the day.
Her father added that the family deeply appreciated support from the community.
“I can’t say enough about this community — you were there (for us), you’re still there,” Michael Lee said.