The University of Wyoming in Laramie is planning to dedicate a bench in memory of Matthew Shepard, the UW student who was murdered 10 years ago in an antigay hate crime.
UW president Tom Buchanan and Judy Shepard -- Matthew's mother and executive director of the nonprofit Matthew Shepard Foundation -- will attend and speak at the bench dedication September 27 at 10 a.m. The bench is already set up at Quealy Plaza on the UW campus and includes a plaque that bears Shepard's full name (Matthew Wayne Shepard), birthday (December 1, 1976), and date of death (October 12, 1998). The plaque describes Shepard as a "beloved son, brother, and friend ... he continues to make a difference ... peace be with him and all who sit here."
A decade after Shepard was lured out of a Laramie bar by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney and then tied to a post, beaten, and left to die by the two men, the bench stands as the only public testament to Shepard in Laramie. (Neal Broverman, The Advocate)