Balloons fill the air as students remember Luke Bresette - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Red, white and blue balloons fill the air as students remember Luke Bresette


Saturday family and friends will celebrate the life of the 10-year-old boy who died when a bank of monitors fell on him at an Alabama airport.

Those who knew him describe Luke Bresette as a young man, full of life, who loved sports.

He was killed March 22 when a 300-plus pound flight status board at a Birmingham, AL, airport fell on him, his mother, and three siblings. The family was on their way back to Overland Park, KS, after a family trip to Destin, FL, and had a layover in Birmingham.

On Friday afternoon more than 600 students who attend St. Thomas More School released balloons to honor the life of their classmate and friend.

Just about all of the Bresette children have gone to or are currently attending school at St. Thomas More School in Kansas City, MO. The family was also very active at St. Thomas More Church.

With balloons in hand and the song Forever Young piping out, Luke's classmates ran and played Friday afternoon, carrying out the legacy his family wants to honor.

"I think that kid would want everybody to know how good life is and to celebrate life," Alex Bresette, Luke's uncle, said.

St. Thomas More Church and school was Luke's place, alongside the other kids. It was where he prayed, learned and played and it's a community now left aching, but hopeful.

"He's playing with the angles, he's checking out that field of dreams, he's exploring those heavenly mansions, and he's staying forever young," Father Don Farnan of St. Tomas church said.

So Friday Luke's friends sent off a gift to join him.

"May these balloons rise to take our prayers to Luke. Please release your balloon," Farnan said to the crowd.

Cheers immediately followed as everyone released their red, white or blue balloon.

As they floated off, Luke's father, Ryan Bresette, watched on with his brother Alex beside him.

"I think I had a range of emotions going through me. I think some of it's closure, I think some of it's inspiring and knowing that, when we look up, what we're going to see is Luke looking down on us," Alex Bresette said.

And Luke has a lot to watch over. His mom, Heather, is still in a wheelchair, recovering from two broken ankles and a crushed pelvis. The weight of the falling airport sign also broke younger brother Sam's leg, but Friday he was up and moving. Also, Tyler, the little brother, was hurt with a concussion. During the afternoon event, he had a hug for his dad, offering the simplest comfort.

"They're going to keep Luke's spirit alive and strong, just by doing the things that kids do," Alex Bresette said.

And it's not just his siblings, but ever kid he met that will keep his name in their hearts.

So even though everyone will have a hole in their hearts for a long time, they'll also keep smiling to keep Luke's spirit alive.

"I'm sure right now Luke is up in heaven popping all those balloons and having a lot of fun," Alex Bresette said.

A visitation will be held Friday at 5 p.m. and Luke's family asks that children wear shirts representing either their favorite team or one of Luke's. A funeral mass will be held the following morning.

Luke's father, Ryan, explained in a Facebook post why the family chose to hold his funeral at the time they did.

"The funeral Mass will be on Saturday morning at 10:05AM. You might be wondering why 10:05? Well, Luke was an avid sports fan and Major League Baseball games start at five after."

Both the visitation and funeral Mass will be at St. Thomas More Catholic Church at 11800 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO.

Click here to read Luke's obituary.

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