Smyrna hosts groundbreaking ceremony for Blue Angels Capt. Jeff Kuss Memorial

(Fox 17 News)

Officials broke ground for the Capt. Jeff Kuss Memorial in Smyrna on Wednesday.

Kuss, a Blue Angels pilot, was killed last year while practicing for the Great Tennessee Air Show. He was 32.

The public was the ceremony at 2 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Lee Victory Park in Smyrna. Watch the full ceremony below.

“We are excited to announce over $1 million has been raised through corporate and private sector contributions for The Kuss Memorial to celebrate the life and career of this American hero,” Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed said.

The memorial is a Blue Angel F/A-18C Hornet similar to the jet flown by Kuss.

The pilot, a native of Colorado, left behind his wife, Christina and children Calvin and Sloane.

“The outpouring of support from the people of Tennessee humbles me,” his widow Christina Kuss said. “They have wrapped us in so much love that I am inspired and grateful. Jeff was the perfect example of the Blue Angels’ mission of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach. He was able to live out his dreams and was my inspiration. This memorial will honor his life and distinguished military service to our country and hopefully encourage kids to pursue their dreams.”

Hundreds formed a makeshift memorial the night of the crash to remember Kuss.

Click here if you'd like to donate to the Capt. Kuss memorial.

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