Branson teen pays tribute to those who died in a boat accident on Table Rock Lake

BRANSON, Mo. A Branson teen is remembering the 17 people who died on a Ride of the Ducks boat last week.

Ezrah Noelle decided to build a memorial.

"I don't want Branson to be known as the place where the tragic boat accident happened. The lake is so beautiful and so healing and it caused so much pain," she said.

She often comes to Table Rock Lake with her family. Their favorite spot is not far from where a tourist boat sank killing more than half of the people on board.

"Those freak accidents happen everywhere but you never hear about them in your own area. It was shock and devastation really," she said.

Ezrah Noelle is struggling to understand why this happened. She decided she needed to honor the lives lost. It was her way of paying her respects.

"We were going to go to the landing and I was like hey, we should go down to the lake and do something," she said.

Her mother, little sister and some College of the Ozarks students helped her to paint some rocks at the water's edge.

"I want them to be known by their names. Maxwell Coleman. He was only two years old," she said. That was someone's kid, someone's dad, someone's mom, someone's aunt, someone's best friend."

They decorated a rock for each person who died with a cross, their name and age. The center point is a rock with a message that's very special to her.

"Never forget and Bible verse first Peter 5:7, which means cast your anxiety upon him for he cares about you," she said.

She is hoping that this memorial will help others to heal.

"All of Branson would have wanted to do this, would have wanted to do something for them," she said.

She wants to lift the community's spirits.

"I really want this to be a happy thing," she explained.​

She's hoping that visitors will keep coming to Branson.

"I don't think it will stop people. I hope that it doesn't. Branson is so beautiful and it has so much to offer. I don't want it to be known just for this tragic accident," she said.

Ezrah Noelle hopes that her gesture will inspire officials to put up a more permanent memorial to honor the lives lost.