Hundreds of candles flickered in front of the numbers 1,15 and 41 as students and members of the community gathered at South Lawn Monday evening in honor of the one year anniversary of the Nov. 13 shooting. The vigil honored the lives of three students and football team members — Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry — as well as injured two students, third-year Commerce student Marlee Morgan and graduate student and football player Mike Hollins.
Attendees took candles from tables on South Lawn and walked them over to place them on the steps of Old Cabell Hall beginning at 7 p.m. Orange ribbons were also offered for students to wear or place along with the candles.
The wooden carvings of the three victims' numbers were placed in front of three different columns of Old Cabell Hall. Inside each hollow carving were white roses, along with more around the base of the numbers.
Along with assistance from the football team, the vigil was organized by student members of L2K, a leadership program organized by the Office of the Dean of Students that invites student leaders to foster their leadership skills and create connections across the University.
A similar student organized vigil was held the day after the shooting, where students gathered on South Lawn and under a starlit sky to grieve together and be in community with one another.
Throughout the ceremony, community members placed bouquets and flowers on and around the numbers, as well as scattered among the candles on the steps.
A banner remained outside of Old Cabell Hall from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. for students and others to sign and leave messages in remembrance of the victims. By the end of the night, the banner was filled with messages — “Forever in our hearts,” “Rest in power” and “U.Va. Strong” stood out against the white background.
Sticky notes were also available for students to write a note on and take for themselves or give to others.
The ceremony in front of Old Cabell Hall lasted for a little over an hour, with attendees sitting or standing on South Lawn in silence to commemorate Chandler, Davis Jr. and Perry.
Some of the last people to leave candles on the Old Cabell steps were the family, friends and teammates of the victims. After leaving their candles, they stood in silence embracing each other before walking to join the crowd.
Chalk messages around South Lawn urged students to reach out if they are in need through HELP Line, an organization run by student volunteers and offering other students a listening ear. Counseling and Psychological Services also offers mental health services for students, and Student Health and Wellness released a guide to dealing with a trauma anniversary ahead of Monday.
The University also held additional commemoration events Monday, including the tolling of the University Chapel’s bells, several open conversations and a panel discussion involving Happy Perry, mother of D’Sean Perry. The Chapel bells played “Amazing Grace” and tolled three times, one for each life lost. Members of the public can watch this observance here.