SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A large gathering of family, friends, and members of the community came together on Tuesday to pay their final respects to 12-year-old Marlon Brown boy who drowned a week and a half ago in a swimming pool at Kiley Middle School.
Among the mourners was a group from the Springfield School Department led by Supt. Daniel Warwick.
“Marlon was a wonderful young man. Everyone in the school department who had any association with him absolutely loved him and I think you’re going to see a massive turnout from the community and the school department to respect his memory,” says Warwick.
The family of Marlon Brown asked that cameras not be allowed inside the church for the funeral, but we were able to speak to the pastor of this church about her message to the community.
“The message today is that this is a community tragedy. This is not just the family’s loss but all of our loss, so I want to speak to that collective grief of the children, that’s it’s okay to be angry and upset but that we will get through this together,” says Rev. Catharine Cummings.
Willette Johnson wanted to be there for the family in their time of need,”I just understand when people are in pain and it helps when they know others care and that we can support and comfort because we truly are our brothers’ keepers,” says Johnson.
And so did city leaders like Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams. “This is their day, we grieve with them, and hopefully we’ll learn from this and hopefully we’ll move on,” says Williams.
The family and community now have to move forward. It will not be easy.
“If we could just keep everyone in prayer and be kind to each other in this time of grief, that we don’t overlook our children because often they are the lost grievers so to speak with the kids to continue to lift up Marlon Brown’s name, in conversation, the fun times, the laughter, and his bright smile,” says Rev. Cummings.
Following the church service, Marlon Brown was laid to rest at Hillcrest Park Cemetery.