Sageville community comes together to honor student's memory - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sageville community comes together to honor student's memory

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Kaitlyn's bench at Sageville Elem. School (Photo from our coverage partners at The Telegraph Herald) Kaitlyn's bench at Sageville Elem. School (Photo from our coverage partners at The Telegraph Herald)
Kaitlyn Ohnesorge Kaitlyn Ohnesorge
KWWL's Abby Turpin wears a "Smile like Kaitlyn" shirt.  Many at KWWL were deeply touched by Kaitlyn's story. KWWL's Abby Turpin wears a "Smile like Kaitlyn" shirt. Many at KWWL were deeply touched by Kaitlyn's story.

Kaitlyn Ohnesorge left her mark on this world.  There's no doubt about that.  And now, her memory is forever a part of the Sageville Elementary School playground, thanks to a bench and tree the community has dedicated to the 7-year-old whose smile changed countless lives.

Kaitlyn died on August 13, 2017, just days away from her 8th birthday.  She sustained injuries after falling off her bicycle on her family's property August 10.

On Thursday, the bench was dedicated and a tree was planted, all for Kaitlyn to continually have a presence on the playground with her friends.  About 350 attended the dedication ceremony, including Kaitlyn's family.  Songs were sung, hands were held, poems were read and everyone was embraced. 

On the bench is Kaitlyn's picture and the words that have now become synonymous with her full name: "Smile like Kaitlyn."  Kaitlyn was a happy child, always smiling and always adventurous, according to her parents, Kat and Abe.  In fact, t-shirts were sold by Sageville's parent-teacher club with that phrase on them, "Smile like Kaitlyn," to make the memorial possible.

Thanks to the community, the bench and tree will forever be a place for family and friends to gather, to recall the great memories they shared with young Kaitlyn Ohnesorge.

KWWL continues to offer their condolences to the Ohnesorge family.

Original story: http://www.kwwl.com/story/36110533/2017/08/Thursday/update-dubuque-girl-dies-from-injuries-after-falling-off-bicycle

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