The flag flew at half staff for a life cut short.
Hundreds gathered outside the Maritime Academy of Toledo Monday night to remember Tyler McIntoush, the 16-year-old boy shot dead on Collingwood Boulevard Thursday. Many wore pink, Tyler’s favorite color.
“He doesn’t want you here to cry,” principal Jodi Johns said of her former student who would have been a junior this fall. “He wants you here to celebrate what he was all about.”
Speakers at the vigil — mainly teachers, co-workers, and friends — told stories of a vibrant teenager who danced through lunch lines, loved shopping and selfies, and worked hard for a raise at Netty’s ice cream shop so he could buy his mother a new pair of earrings.
“My son was everything to me,” his mother, Oleen Clinton, told the crowd. “My world, my heart, my joy ... I thank God that He gave me my baby.”
The vigil, which began with a performance by a student drum corps, also included a bell ceremony, a maritime custom to honor departed shipmates and symbolize the passage of time.
“The striking of the ship’s bell reminds us that our voyage in this world is all too short,” maritime instructor David G. Brown explained during the ceremony.
After the bell ceremony, the prayer of St. Francis, and closing remarks, the vigil concluded.
Amid hugs, tears, and memories, memorial candles flickered under a clear night sky.
— Marissa Medansky