Parents

Community rallies around Lane Graves' family on his 'first heavenly birthday'

We were all horrified to hear of the death of Lane Graves, the 2-year-old boy who was killed by an alligator at a Disney resort in June.

But no one was more horrified than Lane's parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, who have since had to deal with the devastating aftermath of losing their youngest child.

Related: Jeff Corwin: Alligator attack on boy at Disney is 'a catastrophic, rare event'

On Saturday, which would have been Lane's 3rd birthday, the Graves family held a remembrance ceremony called "Love for Lane" at a local high school in Omaha, Nebraska. Loved ones gathered wearing blue, Lane's signature color, to celebrate what the family called his "first heavenly birthday."

"We will celebrate LT's first birthday in heaven and the two years, nine months and 11 days we spent together as a family," the Graves family said in a statement released to People. "We sincerely thank the thousands of Nebraskans and others from around the country who have been so supportive of our family with cards, letters and acts of kindness over the past several months.

"We are grateful and hope for continued privacy as we work to heal our family," they added. "Lane & Ella, 'We love you up to heaven and down to the grass.' "

Related: Please, stop the rush to mom-judgment after tragedy; just stop

Neighbors have also honored Lane by placing blue ribbons around trees, mailboxes and doors.

Omaha's WoodmenLife Tower even lit up blue shortly after the little boy's death.

The event page states that the family hoped to take an aerial photo of attendees wearing their blue shirts and standing in the shape of a heart. While those photos haven't surfaced yet, we can confirm that blue was in no short supply, and that this much-loved little boy is also much-missed by his friends and family.

Sending peace to the Graves family, and thanks to their community for supporting them through this difficult time.

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