Sophomore Alexander Jay "A.J." Howard and Senior German "Andres" Martinez-Bazen II died within days of each other, leaving behind a community desperate for answers to the question "Why?"

This prompted a student vigil on the evening of May 25; lead by BISD Sophomore Patreice Williams with a group of five other BISD students.

"After hearing of A.J. and Andres' passing, I thought about how nobody was doing anything for them so I talked to my Mom about it and she emailed our principal and it just went from there. We wanted to do something in remembrance of them. One student wrote a song and other students had ideas also. So we decided to combine everything together," said Williams.

Photo by Elizabeth Varville

As students gathered, the voice of comfort took hold, so healing could begin. Students were given the opportunity to express their emotions through writing a dedication to Andres on a remembrance banner. BISD student Paul Gutierrez opened the vigil with a song written and dedicated to the students. The evening was filled with mixed feelings of happiness and sadness as friends and family members gave their tributes. An overwhelming presence of reality occurred as hundreds of balloons were released to signify the moment of letting go.

Photo by Elizabeth Varville