Emotions were running high at the memorial event for Tristyn Bailey. Today marks two years since she was found stabbed to death on Mother’s Day. Tonight, a tight-knit community in St. Johns County came together to remember her.
It was an outpouring of love as hundreds celebrated Tristyn’s life at Veterans Park. Many wearing an aqua ribbon, which was Tristyn’s favorite color.
At the event, Tristyn’s father, Forrest Bailey, said the community support is what keeps his family moving forward.
“This is overwhelming, it’s absolutely beautiful,” Forrest said.
It’s clear Tristyn left a mark on the community. Her cheer squad, family, friends, and neighbors all remembering her life.
“It fills our hearts, and that absolutely is what gives us the strength to go on because we are seeing that her smile, her laugh, her spirit is alive with her friends in this community,” Forrest said.
It’s been two years since Tristyn was stabbed to death by her classmate Aiden Fucci. Several members of her cheer squad say there’s a void without her.
“It’s always opens up old wounds that we thought were healed,” Tristyn’s former cheer mate Olivia Bolick said. “It’s hard for us to cope with the fact that what has happened. We try to make light of what she had and like what she brought for us.”
The St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association honors Tristyn’s life by awarding the ‘Tristyn Bailey’ award to the ‘most spirited’ cheerleader.
“People that get it are very truly honored to get it,” SJMSAA Cheer Commissioner Tanya White said. “Everybody cries. The Bailey family hands the award every summer now.”
Forrest says while grief lives deep in their hearts, this event is meant to move forward and remember Tristyn’s kind and youthful spirit. He also talked about what’s next with the Tristyn Bailey Memorial Foundation.
It will establish scholarships, provide self-defense classes, help spread awareness on the dangers of social media, and help with victim advocacy.
“The little, small things that you do to demonstrate that you are keeping Tristyn’s memory with you,” Forrest said. “That warms us and that gives us so much happiness.”
This Friday, the Bailey family attorney, Matt Hinson will make an announcement about the foundation.
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]