No plans to continue discussion on memorial to honor Duck boat victims

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 4:30 PM CST
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The tragic Ride the Ducks accident in Branson is not forgotten and neither are the 17 people who lost their lives when that boat sank.

However, a year and a half after the accident, plans for a monument to honor those victims are at a stand still.

"We wanted to do something collectively for the community that would help our community heal," Tri-Lakes Board of Realtors President Gerrie Moore said.

That was the idea behind a 9-foot tall lighthouse memorial, which would bear the names of 17 people who died in the midst of crashing waves and fierce wind on Table Rock Lake in July of 2018.

"Every year, our realtors do something for the community," Moore said.

Moore says their group does a variety of projects that help communities in Stone and Taney Counties. The memorial would have been one of those projects. The group first brought the memorial idea to the city a few months after the tragedy.

"Our thought process was to put that in a community location where anyone could go, just to remember the lives that were lost," Moore said.

However, some people feel Old School Park along West 76 Country Boulevard isn't the right place.

"We kind of went back and forth a little bit about the project and where a good location would be and a location was not decided," Moore said.

So, about a year ago, city leaders tabled the topic. It wasn't brought up again until recently.

"The mayor approached us once it had been tabled for a while to see what our status was," Moore said.

Moore says the grant money they were going to use on the project has expired.

"We only had a year to use those funds," Moore said.

While they could still apply for funds to help with a memorial in the future, Moore says organizers really want the memorial to be a community effort.

"[We show our] full support of the City of Branson, the Chamber, or any businesses that would want to come together to do the lighthouse memorial," Moore said. "Anything that will better our community or help our community heal, that's what we want to do."

Right now, city leaders are not discussing other plans for any kind of memorial. However, that is a possibility in the future. It's also possible that another private community group will do one on their own. Again, the Board of Realtors says they're willing to help with any of those efforts that might come about.