When a tragic event happens at school, resulting in the loss of one or more lives, the aftermath can leave friends and classmates, school staff members, families, and the surrounding community in a whirlwind of emotions. They often feel shock, confusion, anger, and sadness after such a tragedy. Young students and children, who have little to no experience with death and the grieving process, may not understand how they feel or how to express these feelings in a healthy way.
Creating a memorial not only helps you and other people pay tribute to those who passed away, but also creates a safe space for everyone to come together and express their grief. Memorials are group events where emotions related to loss are normalized. Children and young adults will be able to observe the many reactions people can have toward death and loss. They will also learn about different customs and rituals used to commemorate those who died.
A popular choice for memorials erected on school grounds are personalized benches, because they can be made with many different materials and decorated with unique features that celebrate lives they memorialize. Keep reading to find out popular styles for personalized memorial benches.
Memorial benches can be made of wood, aluminum, concrete, or metal. All of these materials are extremely durable. Concrete, or cement, bench materials can handle especially harsh weather conditions, and are ideal for schools near beaches and other areas where the air is salty. Plus, concrete benches are fade resistant and theft proof.
Metal, particularly steel, is the most commonly used material in 2019 for creating personalized benches outdoors. They can be placed in an area on school grounds where a high volume of students and staff gather, like in a garden or playground, or on a scenic walkway. Metal memorial benches are covered in a thick polymer-based thermoplastic powder coating.
The thermoplastic is environmentally safe and will never fade, crack, peel, warp, or become discolored. The coating can also be easily repaired, and provides protection from corrosion, UV light, and vandalism involving spray paint, as well as resistance to mold, mildew, and damage from insects. Plus, you can choose from several patterns, including diamond, expanded metal, perforated metal, and rod, wire, and welded styles.
Adding a custom feature to a memorial bench is a wonderful way to preserve the memory of schoolmates or teachers who died in an accident, from illness, or as the result of a crime. Two personalized bench designs that are popular in 2019 are plaques and engravings. A metal plaque illustrating important acts and quotes of the deceased can be added to the bench. They are tightly bolted to the bench to prevent theft and are easy to clean.
Engravings can be casted or silk-screened onto concrete benches or laser-cut into metal benches. You can also add photos of the deceased and personalized messages. These features add a special decorative touch that highlights the personality and lifestyle of the life, or lives, being honored.
Memorial benches at schools provide a practical feature as well. They provide a place for people to rest, or for parents to sit and wait for their kids to get out of school. People can meet up and discuss current events or reflect on the past. These benches are usually bolted to the ground, but a popular trend in 2019 are the portable variety. Portable memorial benches can be moved to a new location if necessary or placed in a location where other honorary markers wouldn’t work as well.
For more information on memorial benches for schools, contact Outdoor School Furniture today.