MAHWAH, N.J. — Hundreds of jacket-clad parents, students and school officials spilled out of the bleachers and onto the track at Mahwah High School's football stadium Monday evening to remember Nicholas Laurewald.
The 17-year-old died in a crash on Saturday morning, but the community won't let his spirit be forgotten.
Everyone stood in silence as Nick's parents and brother walked past the gathering, escorted by Principal John Pascale, and sat in the bleachers.
His classmates all wore their senior shirts and a green band. He was a huge Boston Celtics fan, and green was his favorite color.
All of the teens involved in the crash gathered on the field, crying.
Close friends and bandmates spoke about Nick, as did his band teacher, passing the microphone fluently and reading the tributes they'd written for him.
"It was very moving and captured the spirit of community," one parent told Daily Voice. "An amazing tribute to a good kid."
Friend Dylan Pfeifer recalled the last time he saw Laurewald, who he met in Spanish class.
"He meant the world to me," said Pfeifer following the ceremony, standing next to Lauerwald's parking spot, adorned with flowers and messages written in chalk.
"Last Friday we went to Moe's Southwest Grill for lunch and when we went back to class he said he would see me later. That was the last time I ever saw him."