Cross Memorial Honors Six Students Killed In Crash - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Cross Memorial Honors Six Students Killed In Crash

Jillian Strayham lovingly tended to some flowers placed at a makeshift memorial. The six crosses, arranged carefully, symbolize the powerful bond among six friends.

"It symbolizes their friendship. The way they're positioned. Jarrod next to Candice. They're cousins. Candice next to Carley were friends. And Carley next to Brittany, the sisters," Jillian Strayham said.

"And then Josh and Richard were friends," Candice's sister Kahlee added.

Jillian and a group of Mercy Cross High students felt the need to create the special memorial.

"Some of us went to Lowe's to buy the stuff for it. We didn't have enough money. There was a guy standing behind us. He said what was all that for? We told him and he said put your money away. He paid for the wood, and for the spotlight for the crosses and everything, and didn't ask any questions. And he said we'll pray for you," Jillian explained.

The crosses stand in front of Candice Newman's house on Highway 67 in Biloxi. Her grandmother, Hilda Strayham, remembers Candice as a loving and beautiful young lady.

"We know she's an angel in heaven and was an angel on Earth also when she was with us. I mean, I know she's an angel, but I'd love to have her back with me," Hilda Strayham said.

"I pray for her every night, and tell her that I miss her, and I'll never forget her," said Kahlee.

"She's not by herself though. She's with her cousin, her best friend, and all of her best friends. So they're all there together," said her uncle William Strayham.

The friends, inseparable in life and now in death.

"There's no doubt where they went. Because of it, heaven's a better place. I think that's where they're at, for sure," said her uncle Andrew Strayham.

Hilda added, "We will love her forever, until we meet again in heaven. And Maw Maw loves you."

Friends say the Newman house is the perfect place for a memorial, because that was where you would find the six students just about every weekend.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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