Man, 21, Creates Giant Heart-Shaped Sand Sculpture to Honor Miami Construction Victims

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Sand sculptors adorn the beach next to the closed area for search and rescue operations at the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A giant heart carved in the sand adorns the beach next to the closed area for search and rescue operations at the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida. A crane is working on the Champlain Towers South site in the distance, while the Champlain Towers North is seen on the right and the Champlain East towers are seen in the center on the right.

SURF, FLA. >> Sweat flowed from Isaac Meek early today as he wrapped up his tribute to the lives lost in a building collapse in Florida – a 10-foot-long sand sculpture of a heart he etched on the beach almost in the shadow of tragedy.

Using only a rake and the tip of his handle, the 21-year-old Miami Gardens hotel worker spent about two hours working shirtless in the scorching Florida sun to create his sculpture, Extract sand, stack it and draw waves and roses on its 1 foot high berms.

He said his father suggested the project as a way to honor those who died in a building collapse last week that left 20 people dead and 128 missing and to give comfort to their family members.

“I’ve always been able to inspire others with that one talent,” said Meek, who has been doing sand sculptures for three years. “I want to use my talent for good and make an impact on others. “

Meek made his sculpture far enough inland that it was safe from water, but maybe not from the tractors that clean and stir the sand every morning. He hopes the drivers will notice his work and leave him alone.

“I detailed it so the tractors understand,” he said.

Meek hopes that if a family member of a victim finds out about his work, he will derive some peace from it.

“They’re still there,” Meek said, touching his chest to his heart. “Whoever you have lost, they are still watching you and are always with you.”

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