Saturday, 23 July 2011

Grateful for .... community spirit

They came in droves, some already carrying their lit candles. Many were arm in arm.
Like moths to a flame the friends and family of Taylor Lacey descended upon the rivers' edge under the bridge where Taylor was last seen 1 week ago.

I stood in amazement, turning in circles, trying to take in the magnitude of the moment.

So many people in one place to pay their respects to this teenager, and I'm talking hundreds. They diligently waited for their turn to sit their candle on the rivers' edge or place it in the water to float down. Flowers were also floating in the water, or placed between the candles.

The sight was magnificent.

Just as magnificent was the atmosphere created by these people who were not only there for Taylor, but for each other. Tears flowed freely and they comforted each other. The respect and the harmony I felt standing amongst these people put a lump in my throat.

After placing their candles, many chose to stand on the bridge and take in the view. From below, the sight of the people lining the bridge from end to end and several deep was amazing.

The SES volunteers, of which I was one, wanted to be present, not only to pay our respects for the teen for whom tedious searches had been in place for the last week, but to create a safe environment.  We need not have worried. The event had been organised on Facebook and had grown by word of mouth to show over 900 attending. Such a big crowd, full of emotion might cause concern. Tonight, the crowd was very respectful of those around them, and showed great caution close to the river. It was still an honour to be present.

I hope the gathering was helpful to the people who attended, and those who organised it.  It was a beautiful way to remember somebody. My heart goes out to all who are missing Taylor Lacey.
The candle vigil on the banks of the Derwent River (photo by NN News - click here to see their article)