BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Shamel Middleton would have turned 12 Friday, and his birthday would have no doubt been celebrated at Buffalo United Charter School, where his brother also attended.
And though his classmates still sang Happy Birthday, they did so through tears, while supporting one another and remembering their friends.
Friday afternoon, a little more than a month after the crash that killed Shamel and his brother Amir, teachers, administrators and classmates honored the boys and welcomed their family for a memorial service.
The crash happened April 18 in the Town of Manchester. State police said they found a vehicle overturned in the westbound lane of the Thruway.
Police said the boys were sitting in the back seat, not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the vehicle.
In the months that’s followed, the school planted two trees in front of the school’s entrance. On Friday, two flowers were added.
Students performed for the family, and gave gifts to Amir’s and Shamel’s mother, Shenaya Washington.
Washington said it’s been a difficult month, but she was thankful for the school family, which has mourned with her.
“I’m thankful. I mean, of course I would love my babies physically here. But I feel them. It’s not even like the situation even happened, because I feel them in everything that I do,” she said. “Spiritually, I still feel them in everything. I’d be lying to y’all if I say it’s going to be an easy road because since day one, I’ve been doing for my babies. And now, it’s just going to be on a bigger scale.”