Friends, family members, and emergency response employees of Pembroke and Bryan County all gathered together March 21 to remember and honor the three teenage girls killed last year in a car accident on their way to school.
The memorial took place at the scene were the accident took place, the curve; just two miles past Bryan County High School on Hwy. 119. A three-cross memorial was erected shortly after the fatal crash that killed Laura Cobb and sisters Heather and Melissa Arthur.
The memorial has since served as a place for friends and family to leave gifts, notes and flowers throughout the past year.
More than 75 community members lit candles and joined together in prayer, comfort and the reading of poems.
Jesse France, the grandfather of the Arthur girls, thanked everyone for joining him and his family in honoring his granddaughters and their friend.
"We hug each other today...because this event brought us together," France said. "These girls live in your hearts. The will always live as long as you have them there in your hearts."
An emotional Mary Buenrostro, a classmate of the three teenagers, read a poem in their honor as friends released white balloons with messages and prayers for their lost friends.
After the balloons were released the candles were placed around the crosses that were hand-made by Heather Cruz, another friend of the deceased.
According to Cruz, friends of Melissa Arthur and Laura Cobb are still seeking permission from officials at Bryan County High School to place two empty chairs at the graduation ceremony in May for the Class of 2008, in honor of their two friends who would have walked the stage with them and received their diplomas.