Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Tiny flames illuminated the sky, replacing the setting sun Wednesday at Rec Park, as family and friends remembered a man and woman murdered last week.
Some sang along to music filling the chilly night air, others spilled tears. But everyone had Mario Masciarelli and Christina Powell on their minds and in their hearts.
"This tragedy of two young lives affected not only my family and another family, but the entire community," said Luanne Dirico, vigil organizer. "This is more touching than you can even imagine. All I did was simply put something out on Facebook, and it just spread like wildfire."
Most of the crowd was made up of Masciarelli's family and friends, many saying they will never forget his smile.
"He had a very big smile when he was younger and as he got older, he was always very cheerful," Colleen Deritas said.
One of Masciarelli's cousins said the 24-year-old was just opening a business.
"He was a go-getter," Giuseppe Diloreto said. "He started his own business. He wanted to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. He was working hard at it everyday, everyday."
And though his career may have never been able to fully bloom, people noticed his hard work and everything he did for the community.
"He had many, many friends," Deritas said. "His family is well known in the community and it was too bad, too short of a life."
Gone but never forgotten, his memory lives on. And so does Powell's.
"We are going to miss him very much and we feel sad for the little boy's mom," sisters Zaharah and BriHana Abdu-Shahid said.
As night fell, lanterns floated into the night sky; small tributes to big lives.