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This article was published 14/3/2019 (392 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
People were asked to bring roses.
More than 50 gathered Thursday night at Bonnycastle Dog Park on the bank of the Assiniboine River in remembrance of Danielle Moore, the 24-year-old Winnipeg resident killed in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash.
Some brought roses to the vigil; others chrysanthemums.
Moore’s former boyfriend, Colby Deighton, brought a bouquet of lilies and his guitar.
Many of Moore’s friends have spoken to media about their loss, but Thursday was the first time Deighton, 26, had made his grief public.
He was composed, a green bow tie Moore had given him peeking out from his natural-fibre hoodie. Deighton earns his living in construction, but he said, like Moore, he is an environmentalist at heart.
"I want her to be remembered in the actions people take, to make themselves better people, to grow and to take on issues that are important to them," he said.
The couple had been together for four years, and just called a hiatus in their relationship. Deighton was staying behind in Winnipeg while Moore planned to go to Ottawa for school, after her trip overseas.
He was sitting on his couch Sunday morning when a friend contacted him through Facebook with word of the crash.
He didn’t believe it at first. Then he looked up Flight 302, saw the list of 35 countries linked to the passengers. The crash killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.
"All those nationalities, I just knew it was her flight," he said.
A call to her parents confirmed his fears.
"You know you want your sons to meet girls who are kind. Danielle was like a daughter. She had that big beautiful smile," said Deighton’s mother, Lora Meseman, as mourners gathered in the park.
"She was like a daughter. She touched a lot of people. And you know, when she moved here, she said she thought it would be hard to meet people, but clearly it was not. She made friends so easily. Everybody instantly loved her."
Moore, from Toronto, was a grad from Dalhousie University in Halifax. She had worked for charities and non-governmental organizations in Winnipeg. Thursday’s gathering was expected to be mirrored at the shores of rivers, oceans and lakes and backyards across Canada and around the world at dusk. A global call for a mega-vigil went out from Danielle’s friends on Facebook, to 25 locations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England and Mexico. All were locations connected to her through friends or travel.
"Danielle Moore was one the most incredible people many of us have ever met," the memorial post read.
Participants were asked to light candles, take photos if they could and sacred stones or special objects that reminded them of Moore.
Media were asked to leave the Winnipeg gathering, but according to Facebook, the ritual was to begin with a minute of silence for Moore and her fellow crash victims at each location.
One person per gathering was asked to read Mary Oliver’s poem When Death Comes. Each gathering was asked to create a nature-based tribute to Moore and one by one to place a stone, or rose — white for grief, yellow for friendship — in whatever shape felt appropriate.
"The nature art should just be biodegradable items," the post read.
The gatherings were to conclude with songs, with the traditional Down to the River to Pray among the suggestions.
Moore was remembered as a devoted environmentalist and human rights activist, who had been en route to Nairobi to take part in the prestigious United Nations Environment Assembly at the time of the crash.
Updated on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 12:28 PM CDT: corrects quote
March 16, 2019 at 5:42 PM: Corrects reference to relationship.