It was a somber and quiet day as hundreds of people gathered in Frost Park in Yarmouth, N.S., on Monday to honour the memory of four-year-old MaCali Cormier, who died on Saturday after she was run over by a float in the annual Christmas parade.
Organizers placed bows on posts around the park ahead of the vigil. They were purple — the young girl’s favourite colour.
“I just hope that they all know we, as a community, stand behind them for anything they need,” said Chellesey Lusk, one of the organizers.
Many attendees chose to wear purple and brought with them flowers and teddy bears to mark the occasion while several purple balloons were released into the sky during the ceremony, which included music and prayers.
The death of MaCali has shaken the small town of roughly 6,500 people to its core.
As the tight-knit community continues to grieve, the four-year-old is being remembered as a child who had a passion for learning and “loved helping other people.”
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Her obituary, posted Monday on the H.M. Huskilson’s funeral home website, said Cormier was a pre-primary student at Yarmouth Central School and “couldn’t wait” to go to the new school that is being built across the street.
“MaCali will be remembered as an awesome big sister to Tessa and Matthew Cormier,” read the obituary. “Most of all, MaCali will be remembered as a little girl who loved helping other people.”
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She also enjoyed swimming, camping, horseback riding, dancing and watching YouTube videos, the obituary said.
For now, the town is bonding together. Lusk says that they will look after one another.
“We’ll remember MaCali through all of this,” she said.
“Even in years to come.”
— With files from The Canadian Press