Come Together.

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A few days ago, I was greeted by some unpleasant news. I was informed that a young boy was hit by a car while riding his bicycle and was now in critical condition. It seemed that the boy just so happened to attend my high school and was in my grade. But at this time I had no idea who this boy was, and no further information was released. The news traveled all throughout my school, and it made appearances on social media networks. It finally managed to get to my parents, who were shocked and sorrowed. But the next day brought more news that impacted many.

While we were waiting to begin swim practice, one of my teammates shared the horrific news; the young boy, who had seemed to slowly be getting better, took a turn for the worse. My teammate then passed around a picture on her phone of him. She told us his name was Sean and that he had just passed away moments ago. We all became quiet and still; it didn’t seem real. This boy was my age—only fifteen years old—and his birthday was just four days away. He had so much more of his life to live, but it was abruptly taken from him.

Once I got home from my practice, I logged onto Twitter and Facebook. My feeds were filled with heartfelt notes and remembrances of Sean’s life. I noticed that even some of my friends who had never even met Sean joined in and shared kind thoughts, warm wishes, and their condolences to his family. It became almost like a school-wide act, with many of my classmates supporting their fellow Baron (what we call ourselves at our school, after our mascot) and peer.  I watched as the posts and tweets multiplied by the dozens. These were just kids, teenagers, posting about the loss of their dear friend, recollecting on the good times spent with Sean. All of them were supporting one another; they seemed to have all bonded in their friendship and love for Sean. And I believe this is truly amazing.

Just like the band of soldiers in the novel, “All Quiet On The Western Front,” these teens are fighting against their sadness and depression together, helping each other in this time of weakness and pain. They are supporting their fellow comrade, Sean, whom is now a fallen soldier.

I really don’t know what school is going to be like once we all return, but I know one thing for certain–Sean’s memorable spirit will live on, not just throughout the halls at school, but in our hearts. His soul will shine through those who he impacted during his time on this earth. Therefore, his life was not wasted, just shortened. He is free from harm, pain, and suffering now, and in a better place where he can watch over the world and smile down upon all those he loved.

Currently, his close friends are hosting multiple candlelight vigils in his honor. In addition, more than 500 students are planning on wearing black and Rasta colors to school on Monday in his memory.

And with that, I thank you, Sean. Even though I never had the privilege of meeting you, I feel like I have. Rest in peace, my new friend.

-Kayla

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