AUSTIN, Texas - Tuesday night, those who knew Austin bombing victim 17-year-old Draylen Mason honored his memory with a vigil at East Austin College Prep.
The vigil was put together almost entirely by the students at Draylen’s former school and it was full of special moments.
The orchestra played one of his favorite songs, students performed a dance dedicated to him and they all wore a t-shirt with a picture of him on the front.
“He gracefully stood on the shoulders of giants and he was determined to become a giant himself,” said Fatima Cisneros-Acevedo, a fellow orchestra student and friend of Draylen’s.
In some ways the 17-year-old already was a giant. His friends said he had a giant personality, a giant sense of humor and giant passion for music.
“He exuded such passion and adoration for every note he played and he was the bass line, repeating bass line,” Cisneros-Acevedo said.
The sole bassist in their orchestra, Draylen’s friends said his heart was as big as the instrument he played.
That makes his absence on stage at East Austin College Prep even more difficult for those who loved him.
“It’s just been hard looking over my shoulder and not seeing him there,” said another one of Draylen’s friends Lucerito Gonzalez.
“We know and we have all agreed that every note we play, it would be for him,” Cisneros-Acevedo said.
Draylen was the second victim of the Austin bombings.
Police said a package left on his mother’s doorstep was taken inside the home, and, when it was opened, it exploded, killing Draylen and injuring his mother.
“A part of me feels like it’s missing and I can only imagine how his mother feels and how his friends feel,” said Draylen’s teacher Jacqueline Vidal.
Draylen was only 17, but his friends said, in that short time, he touched so many lives.
They hope his story will continue to inspire music students for decades to come.
“He deserves to be remembered,” said one of Draylen’s best friends, Jazmin Lopez.