Friends Remember the Loss of a Friend in Vigil

By: David Coy
By: David Coy

HARRISONBURG -- A community in mourning as friends and family reflect back on the life of Maria Belen Simonov-Romero. A life taken in a car crash Thursday. She was just 20 years old.

Friends sang in remembrance of Maria Belen Simonov-Romero. Silvia Sanchez was a close friend and organized the vigil held Friday night.

"When I started to plan this I didn't think a lot of people would respond. But I'm glad they are. She deserves it," said Sanchez.

Friends wrote fond memories of Belen on balloons and held them high. They were all asked to wear white in honor of her.

"She died in a terrible way but we are going to remember her, the good person that she was. She has always been a strong woman. Even though she was only 20 years old," said Sanchez.

Belen was the only person from her family that lived in the United states. She moved to Harrisonburg when she was a child.

"She's from Uruguay, all of her family is in Uruguay. Her mother is devastated, not being able to come. Today's actually is her mother's birthday. Her sisters, her brothers, they are all back home," said Sanchez.

People reflected back on memories with her. They said they know she is now in a better place but will always be remembered in their hearts.

In the end, balloons were let go into the sky and candles were lit for their dear friend Belen.


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