Celebrating the life of Logan Tipton
Students, teachers and Logan Tipton's family gathered on the playground at Simmons Elementary School on Monday morning, May 16, to celebrate and remember the life of 6-year-old Logan, who was murdered in his family's Versailles home last December. Principal Larry Caudill thanked students for coming together and supporting Logan's three sisters and his parents during a very difficult time in their lives. He described the outpouring of love from students as "simply incredible." "Logan was an amazing little boy - full of love," Caudill said. In honor of Logan's unconditional love for those around him, "messages about love" written by Simmons Elementary students were attached to yellow and purple balloons. Before those balloons were released by students, Caudill told everyone attending Monday's dedication ceremony that "We're going to love like Logan today. And hopefully somebody out there who picks up one of these balloons and its message will need that in their life." Students counted down: 5-4-3-2-1 before releasing the purple and yellow balloons into a blue sky, which Caudill described as "a wonderful sight . there they go." Before Monday's dedication ceremony, a redbud tree was planted in memory of Logan, who was a kindergartner at Simmons. It will bloom purple every spring "so after the winter thaw," said Caudill, "we'll have a bright, brilliant, purple tree above our playground. So we all can see the first colors - those will be Logan's colors here at the playground." Two benches were also recently placed in the playground to honor Logan. One of the benches and five picnic tables were made with plastic from recycled bottle caps donated by students, teachers and others in the community to remember and honor Logan. "We had a bunch of community support that was all around us to help us get through this time," Caudill told students, teachers and Logan's parents. He thanked Heather and Dean Tipton for allowing the Simmons family to support and love their daughters in the months since Logan's death. "Girls, we are so proud of you," said Caudill. "You have been amazing, incredibly strong. And we're proud of everything you've been able to accomplish in the second half of this year," which drew applause before he added, "and know that Simmons will always be here for you."