BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A property on Binghamton’s Northside that was once a reminder of an horrific crime now memorializes young crime victims.
The Forget-Me-Not Memorial Garden was officially dedicated this afternoon.
It occupies a plot of land where 6 and a half Sturges Street once stood, the house where 12 year-old Cheri Lindsey was raped and murdered while collecting money on her paper route back in 1984.
The newest Broome County Park is now a memorial to all children who are victims of crime.
The garden features a variety of plants, including forget-me-not flowers, that will be cared for by the master gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The painted, purple butterfly symbol on the walkway represents transformation, hope and new life.
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says, “It features a small walkway and seating area surrounded by a garden filled with dozens of plant varieties. The arch seat wall symbolizes the strength and support needed to endure the difficulty of losing a child.”
A few years ago, Cheri’s parents Dave and Jean Lindsey asked Garnar if the county could do something about the house which was vacant and dilapidated.
So, the county purchased the building for $25,000 and paid to have it torn down 2 years ago.
On the other side of the highway is Binghamton’s Cheri Lindsey park with a swimming pool, ball fields and more.
Dave Lindsey says this garden memorializes all childhood victims.
“It’s not only a tribute to her, it’s the other kids too. It’s not her park, it belongs to the other kids that have been murdered. I hope it goes to everybody who has been murdered and people recognize that this park is for them also.”
The contractors who built the park let Cheri’s mother Jean put her hand prints in the concrete with the word “Mom.”
Jean regularly visited the construction site to keep tabs on the progress.
She says its important that the community never forgets those taken at a young age.