A section of King Street Park has been converted into a reflection area in memory of Garrett Mills, complete with a garden and bench overlooking the Napanee River.
Mills’ family was on hand for the dedication last Tuesday, done in the name of their son who passed away in a tragic accident involving a soccer net on May 12, 2017. He was 15-years-old.
“As a community we are here to show Garrett’s family the support they need to strengthen their belief that Garrett will not be forgotten and collectively reflect on how we can work together for a better tomorrow,” said Greater Napanee mayor Marg Isbester. “From all that I have been told, Garrett cared deeply about making the world a better place.”
The space was constructed by Wentworth Landscapes. Personal touches were added along the edge of the concrete slab, with Garrett’s family adding their handprints and handwritten messages.
“I hope that the Mills family finds comfort in being able to come to this spot and reflect on their loss and this area will help our community to keep Garrett’s memory alive,” said Isbester. “The town has had this site constructed to share with all the members of our community. This area is for everyone to reflect on their own lives, their own loss and how aware we all need to be that life can change in an instant.”
Garrett’s father, Dave Mills, also known as radio personality Buzz Collins, raised a Canadian flag to fly above the reflection area.
“A couple days after Garrett passed, a school mate posted a message on Garrett’s Facebook wall and it said how one day this gal at NDSS was sitting in the hallway in tears,” recalled Dave Mills. “Garrett was the only person who stopped and sat down to talk to this person and take the time to comfort this person. He didn’t even know who she was. He talked to her until the tears dried up. She was grateful for that.”
Mills said hearing stories like that about his son, that he’d never heard before, have become common since his passing.
“If the stress of life began piling up, honest to God you sit down with Garrett for a few minutes and you just forgot about your troubles,” he added. “He just made you feel happy.”