MUKWONAGO, Wis. (WLS) -- People around the country are honoring the youngest victim in last year's Waukesha Christmas parade attack this weekend by wearing jerseys for Jackson Sparks.
The jerseys they wear are for a variety of different teams, but the team is not the point. Just wearing a jersey is what's important to remember 8-year-old Jackson, a 3rd grader at Clarendon Avenue Elementary School in Mukwonago, Wisconsin.
"He has a smile that would come out," said Amber Roemer, Jackson's teacher.
He loved sports. His death hit the school community very hard.
"Jackson was important to my heart. He was one of my friends. Now he's gone," classmate Sullivan Pierce said.
"We want him and his family to know he will forever be in our hearts," Principal Andrea Kaplan said.
Jackson's parents were devastated. His older brother Tucker was also seriously injured in the parade tragedy. His family wanted to their grief into something positive, so they started the Jackson Sparks Foundation to help grant baseball-related wishes for deserving kids, and now, they're starting Jerseys for Jackson.
"It's such a wonderful way for people to take part and they don't have to do much," said his father, Aaron Sparks.
"We were blown away by photo after photo," said his mother, Sheri Sparks. "It was crazy."
Jackson's parents said they were surprised to see the movement go viral on the internet, with thousands of people around the world posting pictures of themselves in jerseys in support not only of Jackson but of the entire Waukesha area community. Milwaukee area native Todd Ahrens helped spread the word.
"It just exploded and I coined the phrase Jerseys for Jackson," Ahrens said.
The school has plans to honor Jackson in a more permanent way. Because he loved baseball, they plan to name the ballpark Jackson Sparks Memorial Field.