ST. GEORGE — A new tribute to Macin Smith, the teen who went missing over three years ago, was unveiled in St. George Monday, a physical representation of the enduring effort of an entire community committed to finding him.
Friends, families and supporters of Smith gathered at the newly constructed Crimson Ridge Park on 3000 East at 5:15 p.m. to witness the unveiling of a custom-made memorial bench in honor of Smith.
The specially designed metal bench features a bright-eyed, smiling portrait of Smith, a depiction of what he looked like as a 17-year-old when he went missing from his St. George home Sept. 1, 2015. After Smith left his home that morning and never returned, an extensive search effort was launched with supporters from across the country.
His disappearance has since garnered international attention as police, news media and an abundance of supporters continue to look for clues. A Facebook group dedicated to finding him has nearly 50,000 members.
A couple dozen of Smith’s many supporters were at the park for the unveiling of the memorial bench, where a short ceremony paid tribute to him and his family.
“It’s hard that we’re here for this occasion, but it’s nice to be gathered with everyone that loves Macin so much and cares so much for him,” event organizer Kaitlyn Wilson said.
Wilson said she relates to Smith and hopes the bench will serve as a beacon of encouragement.
“I have a similar story to depression like he did – going through hard times in high school – and I just want to give back to Macin and let him know that he’s not the only one who suffered through high school,” Wilson said. “And there is a better life than just giving it all up. He has a family that loves him.”
Some of Smith’s immediate and extended family were present for the ceremony, including his mother, Tracey Smith, who said she appreciates that there is now a physical reminder of her son that she can visit.
The bench was donated by Hurricane-based FX Industries, a metal-working company.
“We’re proud of it,” FX Industries General Manager Wil DuCrest said.
“We got the idea to do the bench from the interview that Tracey did with St. George News about the last search for Macin,” DuCrest said. “She had said that she wanted something to basically go to and visit, and we also wanted it to be a place for other people who might be fighting with what Macin was dealing with.”
The custom-crafted blue and white bench has laser-etched granite engravings that feature Smith’s full name and birthdate next to the date he went missing.
The engraving also includes a short phrase that reads, “Never Give Up; Never Surrender.”
DuCrest worked with the city of St. George to find the right location for the memorial bench. He said the city realized the forthcoming Crimson Ridge Park would be a fitting venue, given that it is near Smith’s home.
“What a perfect park. It’s new, it’s by his home,” Wilson said. “It’s where everyone can come and ponder about him and pray for him or tell him something.”
The park will be officially dedicated later this month.
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