SAGINAW -- The saws have been going non stop every night this week, with stone and metal being cut and cast into place.

What's happening to Alanna Gallagher's memory is so right, because what happened to her was so wrong.

'It goes through your mind, 'it could've been mine.' It really is, it's saddening,' said Lael Walton, a volunteer with the Specialists Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, which took on the task of building the Alanna Gallagher memorial.

Alanna was murdered last summer. The 6-year-old's death broke her community's collective heart.

'We didn't really know her, but we know how it feels,' explained sixth grader Cole Loar about why he was helping out on the building process. His father is in the motorcycle club.

And Friday, that club hit a milestone.

It took seven grown men to carry a 1,000-pound memorial stone that sits in the very center of a gazebo. They carefully lifted it from a truck and walked it into place, taking great care to ease it to the ground. It is truly the centerpiece of a stunning memorial to Alanna, just outside her classroom at Willow Creek Elementary in Saginaw.

'Brings to light we're close to having it turned over fully and having it ready to hand over to the Gallagher family,' said David Carter, of the motorcycle club. Carter designed the memorial. 'Milestone day for us, for sure.'

The memorial faces west for a number of reasons, Carter said. The metal gazebo will have a special feature, so when the sun hits a certain way, an image of a little girl chasing butterflies will appear on the memorial stone. There is a pathway leading to it with an 'A' and a 'G' spelled out in flowers. The stone is round. Granite steps surround the back half of it.

'It's kind of the circle of life,' Carter said. 'Children can climb on it and enjoy it. They can let loose.'

Carter said members of the Specialists Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club all have some tie to protecting and saving lives.

'Everybody pitches in and pulls their weight, and makes it a great group of men,' he said.

Several are daddies with daughters.

'You start looking at your girls and 'Man, that could've been my daughter at any time -- this [could have] happened,' said Mark Enriquez, a father of five girls.

Carter said Alanna's family chose the inscription on the stone. It is a powerful quote from Dr. Seuss that reads, 'Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.'

An official dedication of the memorial is expected in March.


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