Knoxville (WVLT) - UT students memorialized the life of carjacking victim Channon Christian Thursday night. Channon was laid to rest nearly 2 weeks ago, but many of her college friends were unable to attend the services. So, Thursday on campus, they remembered her with a candlelight vigil.
Volunteer TV's Gary Loe attended Channon's memorial and has more on her remembrance.
UT students who organized the candlelight vigil wanted to express to the Christian family what they called their "heartfelt condolences" and to also say goodbye in a gathering to their beloved classmate.
College friends lit candles from a UT torchbearer flame in a vigil symbolizing Channon Christian's bright light. Spiritual leaders quoted Scripture as Channon's parents and family members listened.
"Her light shined in her laughter, in her smile, in her selflessness," pastor Sam Polson of West Park Baptist Church said.
An angelic video illuminated the 21-year-old senior in sociology's loving, affectionate life. Among the nearly 200 young men and women remembering Channon was her best friend, who emotionally shared her fondest memories of their 14-year friendship.
"She was who I would turn to for a shoulder to cry on, and she was someone who always made me laugh. She did that for all her friends, and I can't think of one time that she wouldn't drop everything that she was doing to help the people she loved," Kara Sowards said.
Without anger in her voice, this friend said Channon and boyfriend Chris Newsom didn't deserve their violent death allegedly at the hands of carjackers.
"And I have to thank my second family for raising the most beautiful and loving woman that she became. Without you she would never be the same," Sowards said.
Students who never met Channon came to help heal the loss in the university community.
"It let me see what type of person she was, and I feel more connected to her," participant Kevin Wang said.
In closing, dozens surrounded the Christian family in a circle of love, pledging their prayers for them.
"Her light is still shining in heaven," Polson said.
Channon's close friends who hold her light within them reached out and passed that light on to others so that Channon's memory will continue to live on.