Nags Head honors 4-year-old swept out to sea with park bench

NAGS HEAD, N.C. – A permanent addition to a Nags Head park will honor 4-year-old Wesley Belisle, the New Hampshire boy who tragically drowned in Kitty Hawk after being swept out to sea while walking on the beach with his mother in April 2018.

The Wesley’s Way Foundation, which was established in 2018 in his honor, has adopted a bench at Nags Head’s Dowdy Park. The foundation adopted a bench in the park because Wesley enjoyed the playground while visiting the area.

The bench features a plaque that reads, “In memory of Wesley Ryan Belisle, Forever 4 Years Old.” On the plaque is a short poem: “Come and sit with me and be at ease/and feel some Heaven in every breeze.”

“We are so proud that little Wesley had fun at our park and we are grateful that his family chose to adopt a bench there in his memory,” the town wrote on Facebook. “To the Belisles – the Outer Banks community will never forget your little fella, even though most of us never met him. We are truly sorry for your loss.”

A month after Wesley died, the Kitty Hawk community dedicated a Little Red Mailbox in his memory. Located on the beach access at Lillian Street, the mailbox features angel wings painted in orange, which was the little boy’s favorite color. The goal for the mailbox is for anyone who comes to the beach to write a message of love and hope, or they can read the messages others have written.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.