Balloon release at Chatty's Restaurant honors Woodmore bus crash victims
Thursday marked three years since the Woodmore Elementary bus crash.
Cor'dayja Jones, Keonte Wilson, D'Myunn Brown, Zyaira Mateen, Zyanna Harris, and Zoie Nash lost their lives on that day.
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Those six children were honored today by family, friends and the community at an event called Remember Woodmore Bus 366. The event was at Chatty's Restaurant in Avondale.
The owner of Chatty's Restaurant is D'Myunn Brown's mom and she was the one who put this event together. It was a special evening that ended with the community yelling "long live bus 366" as they released the balloons into the sky.
The community came out in full attendance to honor the six children.
There was a celebratory vibe with lots of food, music, and games, but that didn't change the pain family members still feel.
"Every parent loves their kid. You can't understand what these parents are going through. That's just my little cousin so can you understand what I'm going through? I'm hurting, I'm still hurting, every day,” Andrea Anderson, Zyanna Harris' cousin, said.
It was tough for family members to be there today, but they were able to relive some of the kid's memories.
"My cousin Zoie, we were on the dance floor and we battled each other face-to-face. It's kind of rough without seeing her here anymore,” Zoie Nash’s cousin, Felicia Williams, shared with us.
Keonte Wilson's brother also shared with us memories he has of himself and Keonte from when they were younger. He told us, "There was a lot of stuff we did when I was younger. We used to play football, basketball, a lot of stuff."
Even though they are in pain without their loved ones, they wanted to make this event fun. Mrs. Brown opened up her restaurant to make that happen. Family members believe the children are looking down on them with smiles.
Williams said, "I know one thing that if they were still here today, they would be so proud of what their family is doing for them."
The families have become closer through all of this and have been able to lean on each other these past few years. They say they have also felt the support of the community and want everyone to always hold the children in their hearts.
"I just hope they remember not the fact that they're gone, but the fact that they're still here in our hearts and in our minds because we still love all those wonderful babies," Anderson told us.
The event started at 4:30 this afternoon. It was still crowded nearly three hours later right after the balloons went up, which just goes to show how supportive the community has been to these families.