PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Members of the John B. Stetson Charter School community came together Friday to honor their classmate who was killed in a fire.
“This is everything. We can’t express how grateful we are. Thank you,” cousin Denise Miranda-Santana said.READ MORE: Third Round Of Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits Now Available
Words are hard to come by for the family members of Alexangel Arroyo-Santana. The 12-year-old died in April in an overnight house fire. His 9 and 5-year-old brothers and father were also killed.
But his classmates honored him with their own words. They’re now emblazoned on a mural in Stetson Charter School.
“This is really hard guys. It’s really hard,” family friend Jean Marie Lugo said. “They were three awesome kids with a big future. It’s hard.”
Words like genuine, true and the sweetest describing Alexangel are encapsulated in angel wings.READ MORE: WATCH: Penn Student Calls For Sixers To Fire Doc Rivers During Graduation Ceremony
“Having them put the personal words, just they can always come out if they are still grieving, they’re having a bad day because grief isn’t a one day things,” Stetson Charter School Director of Operations Beth Cole said. “There’s going to be something that they can continue with. Some of these students have been with him since kindergarten.”
The mural is painted on the fourth floor of the school at the intersection of B and Allegheny Streets in Kensington.
Alexangel is being remembered outside as well. His sixth-grade classmates planted a garden, filled with hand-written notes on seed paper to keep his memory alive.
“I’m just grateful they’re going to have a piece of him every single day they come to school, they think about him, they can go there,” Denise said.MORE NEWS: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman Votes From Hospital With Emergency Absentee Ballot After Suffering Stroke
“One day at a time, it’s going to be one day at a time because there’s no way we can think about tomorrow because tomorrow we don’t know,” Lugo said.