Vigil held in New Bern for 11-year-old Hailey Joyner

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Candles lit, arms linked, and hugs shared to remember and celebrate Hailey Joyner’s life.

“She was amazing. No words to explain her. She was an awesome person,” said former classmate, Faith Holliday.

“She was a great friend and had a good personality,” friend of Hailey’s said.

“She was always laughing and making everyone in the fifth grade smile. And she was such a good dancer and so happy spirited and just a really fun person to be around,” friend of Hailey’s, Shannon Lee said.

Hailey’s friends, family, classmates and teachers came out to Union Point Park in New Bern to share their memories.

“It didn’t matter what she was going through herself, if we looked like we were having a bad day… she’d come over and say is everything okay? Do you need a hug?” former teacher, June Currie said.

Hailey’s mother, Rebecca McNeese, said she knew how happy Hailey would be to see everyone together. And also hopes this vigil will bring light to gun awareness.

“There’s a lot of kids out here, they lost a good friend. So maybe that is enough to make them go hey when I get big maybe I won’t have guns that are loaded in my house,” Hailey’s mother, Rebecca McNeese said.

Vigil organizer minister Warren Kearny feels the same, “It’s senseless for this to be going on like this. And to be holding guns, you know, in the homes around small children. It’s nonsense.”

But tonight Hailey’s presence was in the air, “You got to look around there’s one dragonfly just following us, circling around us. And I swear to god that’s got to be Hailey from heaven,” said Currie.

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