reed & riley signs at vigil

On Aug. 28, the town of Midland and Cabarrus County dedicated the Lake Loop Trail at Rob Wallace Park in memory of local Reed Parlier.

Reed Parlier was one of two UNC Charlotte students killed by a gunman who opened fire in the Kennedy building on April 30, 2019. Reed was described as quiet, caring and quick witted by his family. He also had a love for computers and video games.

The mayor of Midland, John Crump, spoke at the dedication of the trail saying, “He will not be forgotten by the town of Midland.”

Crump and the town of Midland have been supportive of the Parlier family since the tragic events of April 30. Reed’s father, Brian Parlier, told WSOCTV that, “the Mayor reached out within hours of Reed’s death."

The newly renamed Reed Parlier Memorial walking trail is a 2.5 mile loop in Rob Wallace Park. The park is 143 acres and features a boardwalk, fishing pond, mountain and bike trails, as well as playground and picnic areas.

This park was chosen specifically because it holds significance to the Parlier family. In the days following Reed’s death, his mother Julie went to Rob Wallace Park for peace. 

Julie Parlier told WSOCTV, “As I was standing on the bridge a pair of butterflies flew around my face and landed on me.”

Butterflies have come to be the Parlier family’s symbol of Reed as his father and sister had similar experiences such as Julie’s after Reed’s death. The family has since bought their own butterfly farm kit in honor of Reed. 

Reed’s memory will continue to be honored in two scholarships. The UNC Charlotte Ellis "Reed" Parlier Memorial Scholarship was created in remembrance of Reed, and an award of $18,000 will be given to a freshman of any major, while preference will be given to a student planning to pursue a BS in Computer Science with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics or Gaming. The other scholarship is being created by his family and will be awarded in the future.

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