Beckley community gathers at Woodrow Wilson High School to honor Dwayne Richardson Jr.

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – “I just want to take a moment to open up this ceremony in a word of prayer.”

It starts with his Pastor. It continues with his entire community.

Waves of people at Woodrow Wilson High School, remembering Dwayne Richardson Jr.

“I’m very thankful,” said Richardson’s Mother Keyisha. “This past year, all of his dreams came true.”

Balloons are launched. Memories are shared.

“He was yay high. With the same personality. The same smile.”

Tears are shed.

For the 18-year old Richardson. Gone far too soon.

“It’s gonna hurt,” said Richardson’s First Cousin Ben Anderson. “I miss him. It’s not something that’s going to heal over time.”

It’s about the happy times. Who Richardson was. How he impacted his family. His friends.

“You talk to him once, or you’ve known him your whole life,” said Richardson’s Best Friend Tauvea Davis. “He touched many people’s lives.”

Realizations like that are shared throughout Richardson’s memorial, which starts out rainy and ends with the sun breaking through. The possibility of better days ahead, for a community who won’t soon forget what it’s lost.

“Dwayne was my everything,” Keyisha said.

“He would want us to honor him,” Anderson added. “In how we live and be strong.”

Dwayne Richardson Jr. Once a Flying Eagle, always a Flying Eagle.

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