Offering words of encouragement through scripture was fourth-generation Army veteran Michael Brideweser, a friend of the family who helped Harris train before she left for bootcamp and who stayed in touch with her as she served.
“There’s too much hate going on in this world,” he said. “But we have hope.”
Her loved ones lit candles before a crowd, each candle holding significance: the grief of a family, the family’s courage through loss, the very memory of Harris, and the love people felt for Harris. Vigil attendees then lit their own candles from the four main flames, spreading Harris’ light across the park.
“We seek justice today for what was done to my sister,” said Harris’ brother, Josh, during the ceremony. “We are praying for change.”
Finally, vigil attendees cast off balloons filled with lights into the sky in memory of Harris.
One balloon that floated above the crowd read “We love you forever… we’ll miss you forever… we’ll remember you forever.”