WATSON, LA (WAFB) - There was a huge turnout Monday night to honor a fallen Marine, as a vigil was held on a football field in Livingston Parish for Cpl. Bryan Lauw, who was killed last week in a training accident.
For one night in Watson, the stars above couldn't compare to the soft glow of candle flame.
"Tonight is about honoring a young man who gave his all," said Angie Bueche, a Watson resident.
Lauw was just three years out of high school, 21 years old, and already deeply devoted to his military service.
"How proud he was to be a USMC," his mother, Kristi Lauw, said. "This is what he wanted to do. He was just in his comfort zone when he was with his brothers."
When his hometown heard about Lauw's death, it rallied around his family members to show it was a loss they did not have to bear alone.
"She's living my worst fear that I have every day," Kelli Hanna, another Marine mother, said. "There was no way that I was going to let her go through this alone."
"This is what we do. We come together, we celebrate together and we mourn together. And when anyone is in need, we just come running," Bueche added.
Come running they did. In just a few days, friends of the Lauw family organized a vigil at the old Live Oak High School football field. The stands were filled while people offered music, speeches and memories.
The Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana also presented the family with a gold star.
The young Marine's relatives said they wish he were alive to see how many people loved him, but they'll carry on his memory and hold that love instead.
"He didn't know this many people cared about him and he's able to see it now," his sister, Ashley, said.
So far, funeral arrangements for Lauw have not been made public.