The Story That Was Not To Be - Candlelight Vigil Celebrating Four Precious Smithtown Girls
by Maureen Rossi
On Wednesday July 29th when I arrived at Smithtown West to attend the Candlelight Vigil for the four beautiful Smithtown girls we lost in the motor vehicle crash last week I saw various news trucks outside the perimeter. I pulled up, identified myself as press and asked why they were outside the fence? The response was simply, no press, families request. I identified myself to them as press, parked my car and I went in. In addition to being press I am also a Smithtown resident in mourning for these beautiful girls and for their families.
I wept uncontrollably while taking copious notes in my burgundy reporter’s notebook. Pages and pages of quotes are stained by my tears. Quotes that will never be written out of the respect for the families.
Well over six-hundred people walked quietly onto the Smithtown West grounds to gather for the celebration of Amy, Brittney, Lauren and Stephanie. It was a celebration, we heard from many about these amazing young women and the things they had done and accomplished in their short lives.
Local politicians were present; Supervisor Vecchio, Assemblyman Fitzpatrick, Legislator Trotta, Congressman Zeldin, Councilwoman Nowick, County Comptroller Kennedy and Legislator Leslie Kennedy. However, there were no photo opportunities, no words from them, like everyone else who gathered, they were there to pay their respects to and to celebrate our Smithtown girls who left this world too early. Every elected official there last night is a parent. Vecchio, Fitzpatrick and the Kennedys are grandparents. They were not there as politicians, they were there as mourners, they were there to pay respect for the girls from Smithtown. Their hearts were broken like every other heart present.
In remembering these young ladies in our prayers, we must not forget to include the girls inside that fated limo and the devastation they witnessed. They too will need our continued prayers.
The small battery-operated candles lit the field which held family members and friends of the girls and they also lit the bleachers where all the other mourners gathered. Just as quietly as the hundreds entered the vigil, they left with equal reverence.