Hundreds attend vigil for two THS ‘13 grads

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A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday evening, July 9, at Tecumseh High School for two 2013 graduates, Dakota Gonzales and Curt Orlowski, who died in a car accident on US 23 on July 3. Photo by Anthony Alaniz.

Hundreds of friends, family and community members attended the candlelight vigil Wednesday evening for Tecumseh teens Dakota Gonzales and Curt Orlowski at the Tecumseh High School (THS) soccer field. The two men were killed July 3 on US 23 in a car accident.

A large crowd had already gathered by 8:30 p.m. before releasing sky lanterns and the following candlelight vigil. Large posters boards were on site filled with messages to Gonzales and Orlowksi and condolences to the families.

Members of the THS class of 2013 and members of the Gonzales and Orlowski families released 13 lanterns into the sky symbolizing their class graduation year during the nearly two hour ceremony.

After the lanterns were released, the hundreds of attendees walked onto the soccer field and formed a large circle for the candlelight vigil. The families of Gonzales and Orlowski were at the center of the circle, where they bowed their heads in prayer. The attendees observed a moment of silence.

Jordyn Norkey, a 2013 Tecumseh High School graduate, performed a rendition of the class song “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

Vincent Gonzales, Dakota’s father, spoke briefly to those in attendance at the end of the ceremony. He thanked everyone for attending and for all the support the community has given them.

“Hug your loved ones a little more because you never know,” he said.

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