Candlelight vigil held in honor of plane crash victims - FOX Carolina 21

Candlelight vigil held in honor of plane crash victims

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The Antonakos Family (left) and the McManus Family (Source: Christ Church Episcopal, Greenville, SC) The Antonakos Family (left) and the McManus Family (Source: Christ Church Episcopal, Greenville, SC)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Friends gathered at Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville Thursday night for a candlelight vigil held for the youth in the area. Many of them are grieving after the deaths of nine people killed in a plane crash in Alaska.

The plane crashed shortly after take off, and now investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are looking over the wreckage at the airport in Soldotna.

Friends say the Antonakos and McManus families were very active in the community. Bag pipes played as hundreds entered the Saints Center on the church campus for the service. They held hands, cried and hugged one another.

Inside, The Revered Keith Turbeville gave a message about celebrating life.

"For many of them this is their first time they've known someone who has passed away. I think over time, as I told them tonight, the pain will turn into beautiful memories," Turbeville said.

The clergy with the church said they want to make sure young people remember their faith during their time of grief.

"Life is fragile and life is a gift. And we should wake up each morning, and give God thanks for the gift of a new day and when we go to bed at night, give God thanks for the day that we've had," The Revered Harrison McLeod said.

During the ceremony the group sang songs, lit candles and held special moments of reflection.

"God will be with us through whatever happens. Whether its life, or death, or an accident, or loss or whatever it is, we have a companion in Christ Jesus," The Reverend Robert Chiles said.

We're told many of the children gathered in groups and talked about their feelings, as well as good memories of both families.

"We had them share their own stories and memories to write for themselves to remember for a decade, for 20 years and to write families too," Joel Tassie, Director of Middle School and College Ministries said.

A memorial service will be held Friday, July 12 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Church Episcopal's chapel in honor of both families.

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