Searcy Man Honors Lost Loved Ones with Memorial Tree

SEARCY, AR - David Clowers combines holiday decoration with sentimentality with his Memorial Tree in his Searcy yard.

The tree is constructed of a center pole topped by a star, with strings of light streaming from the top to a broad base.  Dangling on the light strings are old compact discs with names written, each representing someone who has died.

At the base of the memorial tree is a sign, "For all of those, the ones we have lost, but not forgotten."

Three of the discs hold the names of his family, killed by a drunk driver in Daytona Beach, Florida on May 15, 1990: His infant son David, Junior, his wife, 27-year-old Brandy Leeanne and his sister-in-law, 27-year-old Catherine Padilla.

Other names have already been placed on the tree: A police officer killed in an accidental shooting, a man who died of a sudden aneurysm, a cancer victim, a man who died of AIDS.

Beginning this week, Clowers will once again dress as Santa and greet visitors who pull into his driveway and park in the spaces provided.  Each will get a candy cane as they walk through the decorated archway into his displays.  They'll see the trees and be invited to write their name on a gold or silver ball and hang it on to the Visitors Tree.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)