Red lanterns light up sky over Chardon one year after high school shooting

Survivor: I can't believe it's been a year already

CHARDON, Ohio - First they let go of three, and then came the rest.

A sea of lanterns lit Chardon's sky in what was the last ceremony held Wednesday by Chardon High School students as they remembered three of their own.

News stations were asked not to be at the ceremony so NewsChannel 5 respectfully watched from afar. But even from a distance, it was a touching ceremony. 

Hundreds of students, all together, lit and released lanterns in silence to mark the struggles they all bared since that Feb. 27, 2012 shooting. Among those students, was Nate Mueller, a then-junior, who was grazed by a bullet the day of the shooting. 

Mueller spoke with NewsChannel5 across the street from the high school and looked back on the lit building as he said, "Time flies... I can't believe it's been a year already."

Mueller talked about how Wednesday was not only a day to remember, but a day to celebrate one another.

"It's not about the person that did it. It's about the person, the people that were killed and the families that were affected by it."

Demetrius Hewlin, Russell King Jr. and Daniel Parmertor's lives were lost when a student opened fire on his fellow classmates.

"It's hard. I miss those guys a lot," said Andrew Lacont, a senior at Chardon. "It feels good, you know, everyone coming together. I didn't really talk to the people I do before it happened, but now I'm talking to a lot of people that I didn't.  Everyone's coming together as a community."

"It's just been like a really hard day today, but I'm happy I got to spend it with all of my friends... It's easy when I'm with just my friends, that's when I can talk about it," Sean Kerr said.

Those lanterns, students said, are a symbol as they push forward.

"You just got to move on and never forget, you know," Kerr said.

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