Strangers gathered alongside family and friends in South Boston on Tuesday night to honor a little boy who drowned last week.
"What brought me out here today is the loss of Kyzr," said Julie Paradiso, who attended the vigil. "He's a family member, not to me, but to all of us who live in South Boston. My family and I ran all around Southie, as did everyone else in this neighborhood looking for him, and hoping we would find him in our backyard, on our stairs."
Sadly the search for Kyzr Willis ended in tragedy last week when his body was found in the water off Carson Beach.
The 7-year-old had wandered away from the summer drop-in program at the Curley Community Center.
"We wanted to thank everybody that searched for him," said Kyzr's uncle, John Baker. "A lot of people didn't know my nephew, yet they came out and looked for him."
Gatherers celebrated his life with a vigil outside the center, launching balloons into the sky.
The time was 7:09 p.m., when Kyzr's family found out the boy's body had been found one week ago.
"I think it is very sad," said Pearl Baika. "But I'm glad I came."
The vigil took place as the center reopened its camp earlier in the day, now with new protocols in place like more headcounts, and campers must wear life preservers in the water.
"It took this kind of an action for changes to be made," said Baker.
Some parents also wonder why some of the new protocols weren't already standard procedure.
"I walked in there and I thought the staff was part of the program - so young about the boy, no excuse for that to happen," said parent Josh Webb.
Still most said they didn't have second thoughts about coming back to the drop-in program run by the city of Boston.
"I feel like it's a good idea to have the life preservers for the kids that are going to go in the water," said parent John Somers."My kids fortunately know how to swim. But I think it's a great idea for them to have the life preservers. And other than that, my kids have a blast at this camp."