BENTON — There is not an expiration date for honoring those lost to tragic events. That’s why members of a local fire department came together to honor victims of the Marshall County High School Shooting in 2018.
The Possum Trot-Sharpe Fire Department dedicated a new truck to Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both 15, who were killed in the Marshall County High School shooting.
It happened behind Sharpe Elementary School over the weekend.
It has both of their pictures and signatures designed onto both sides of the big red truck. Fire Chief Rick Pershing said his team had the idea after buying the truck from South Dakota.
“Being able to see a tribute on this truck that services this community especially Sharpe Elementary where both Preston and Bailey went to school, it will be a healing for everybody,” Pershing said. “Those that have looked at it so far have agreed.”
The fire department invited the families of Preston and Bailey to a private viewing of the truck.
Bailey’s parents, Secret and Jasen Holt, stood with Preston’s parents, Brian and Teresa Cope. They shared what this ongoing support meant for them.
“It means the world to us that three years later our children are still thought of and remembered,” Secret said. “That means the world to us and we wanted to participate in that all we could.”
“This is our daily life now and just to know that they still remember Preston and Bailey means so much to us,” Teresa said.
There were blue, white, and orange balloons, Marshall County’s colors, tied to the sides of the fire truck. The fire department put their pictures and names on both sides of the truck.
Claudia and Kim Booker drove up during the unveiling to show their support.
“It’s totally awesome to show this kind of community support,” Claudia said.
“They were two very precious, precious kids,” Kim added.
Donna Perry is a retired principal of Sharpe Elementary School. She said it is important to continue to remember Preston and Bailey.
“We’re praying for them and we’ll always be and always have these kids in our minds, and in our prayers,” Perry said.
People stood outside in the cold Saturday with their hands in their pockets and their hats on, but nothing warmed their hearts more than seeing the fire truck.
“Every time on a call I told them that there will be two angels watching them every time they go out,” Brian Cope said. “[I] just appreciate them so much for doing this and honoring them.”
Pershing got emotional when he heard what Preston’s father said.
“Them watching over us, and us remembering them at the same time, that is a blessing.”
The balloons tied to the truck were later released.