|A program from a 2001 service honoring the four Oak Hill school music students. (The Boston Globe/File)|
A memorial service marking the seventh anniversary of the bus crash in Canada that claimed the lives of four Oak Hill Middle School band members is planned for today at 6 p.m. in front of the Newton school.
Everyone is welcome, said Elaine Alpert, who lost her 12-year-old son, Steve Glidden, in the accident.
The ceremony at Oak Hill's permanent memorial will probably involve music, sharing happy memories of the young victims, and a moment of silence, she said.
"People are free to say what they need to say," she said. "People talk about the community and the kids. It's a gathering point to reflect on how precious loved ones are."
The crash occurred in the early morning hours of April 27, 2001, while 42 members of the school band were en route to a music festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Steve, along with classmates Kayla Ann Rosenberg and Greg Wai Chan, both 13, and Melissa Leung, 14, were killed when the bus overturned after its driver missed his exit and crashed on a ramp in Sussex, New Brunswick.
In 2004, the families reached a $15 million settlement with the bus manufacturer, bus company, and driver.
Alpert and her husband, Bill Marsh, established the Steve Glidden Foundation, which over the past five years has raised more than $500,000 to benefit programs assisting low-income children.
The foundation is planning to hold its annual fund-raising event - a community yard sale - on June 6-8 at the Brigham Community House in Newton Highlands, Alpert said.
More information about the foundation is available at its website, stevegliddenfoundation.org.