Top of the Morning, Aug. 11, 2018

Top of the Morning, Aug. 11, 2018

In life, LIAM BROKISH, 6, was a friend to all.

And so it will be indefinitely, community members hope, with the addition of a memorial "buddy bench" at Carrie Busey Elementary in Savoy, where he once attended school. The first-grader was one of four Brokish family members killed in a Texas car crash while the family was on spring break.

A memorial playground at Kenwood Elementary has already been dedicated to the family — in particular, to Liam's older brother, 9-year-old FINNEGAN, who loved to climb and had been unimpressed with his school's older, muted play area.

On Sunday, Liam will receive his own memorial, as community members and extended family gather to dedicate the buddy bench to him, and a commemorative plaque in his and his brother Finnegan's memory.

Carrie Busey Assistant Principal Burton Huddleston said a "huge list of folks" — from the PTA to the Champaign Federation of Teachers to Carrie Busey family members — had decided to fund the bench in Liam's memory, since the 6-year-old had always tried to keep other children from being alone.

"From what I understand, it was something that was always important to him," Huddleston said. "He always wanted to make sure that all the kids were included" at recess.

The hope is that children who feel alone or left out will sit on the bench and that other children, knowing the significance, will come over and include them — much like Liam would have done.

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