CALGARY – Those closest to two Calgary twins stood in front of over 2,000 mourners Thursday sharing memories of Jordan and Evan Caldwell.
The pair died in a tobogganing tragedy at Canada Olympic Park (COP) early Saturday morning. Police said they snuck in after hours and were killed while taking their toboggans down the icy bobsled track. The pair was pronounced dead at the scene and six others were rushed to hospital.
The memorial service filled Central Campus of Centre Street Church to capacity with friends, family complete strangers and even former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.
Among those in attendance were the teenager’s mother, father and sister. The boy’s father, Jason, delivered a heartfelt eulogy.
“We were invited to stand at top of bobsled track; it looks like a lot of fun,” said Jason. “Jordan and Evan’s death was a metaphor: the top of the tracks so smooth and so straight and inviting. Just over the crest, the track disappears down the hill. No one knew and none of us do know what’s around the corner.”
WATCH: Thousands turned out for the funeral for twin brothers Evan and Jordan Caldwell Thursday. Here are a few moments.
The boys’ sister, Katie, also gave a special, heartwarming tribute, saying that “two of the biggest pieces” of her heart are gone.
Through tears, Katie said Jordan and Evan were kind, fun-loving pranksters.
“Pranks between those two boys was almost their own love language, but their jokes never went too far and would have never been this cruel. Evan and Jordan would never have wanted for us… to suffer like this,” she cried.
A friend of the boys, Noah Bensler also spoke. “We were gonna grow old and fat together make fun of each other and tell bad jokes,” said Noah. “We were gonna be best friends for life.”
“Jordan and Evan – you were are and always will be my best friends.”
Ahead of the memorial, Pastor Glen Nudd from Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel read a statement on behalf of the Caldwell family.
“We are so grateful for the prayers and support that we have received,” Nudd read. “Thank you for sharing this day with us, as we celebrate the lives of our boys and as we say goodbye.”
The boys were buried at a private graveside service Thursday morning.
WATCH: Pastor Glen Nudd speaks to media before the funeral for twin brothers Evan and Jordan Caldwell.
“We miss them so much already, but we know we will be with them in heaven one day,” the Caldwell family said in a previous statement. They said that Jordan and Evan were “bright lights to all who knew them.”
“Our brief 17 years with them were a gift: filled with much love, laughter, and fond memories.”
Following Thursday’s service, the family released a second statement, expressing gratitude for the “outpouring of support and love from across the Calgary community and across the country.”
“Many have expressed their desire to support the young people who are still recovering from their injuries,” the family added. “If you would like to make a contribution, please visit this website https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/316Fy5.”
Both Ernest Manning High School and Westmount Charter School are providing grief counseling to students and staff who knew the teens.
– With files from Jill Croteau and The Canadian Press
© 2016 Shaw Media