TOLEDO, Ohio — A different kind of memorial is being erected in south Toledo: It's not for veterans, but rather for folks who lost their lives far too young.
The founder, Alexis Hymore, calls it the "Forever 23 Field of Dreams" and hopes one day it becomes a breathtaking display for those who drive by and visit.
"Back a year ago, I lost my friend from childhood Delisia Johnson," Hymore said. "She was only 23. I lost my sister back in 2011. She was 23 also. My sister, I lost to an overdose. Delisia was killed by a drunk driver."
Turning tragedy into tribute, Hymore decided to take action.
She reached out to Toledo Public Schools, who gave her permission to use about an acre of land on the site of the old Libbey High School for a community garden.
Its goal is to commemorate those whose lives were lost far too soon, Hymore said.
It's hard to tell from ground level, but eventually, from the air, the flowers on the ground will spell out 'Forever Young' in tribute to Hymore's lost loved ones.
But the eventual goal of this project will reach far more than two lives.
"By people coming out here, planting their flowers, sharing their stories and the community driving by and seeing that, people will want to stop doing drugs, stop drinking alcohol, stop bullying each other and just get along," Hymore said.
The weeding and planting just began but Hymore hopes this project blossoms with participants from all across the area.
After all, she thinks it's what her 23-year-old loved ones would want.
"Oh, I think they're up there doing a happy dance."