Family and friends gathered to say goodbye on Saturday to Tessa Majors, the college freshman who was stabbed to death last week in New York City.
CNN reports that more than 1,000 people attended a private ceremony for Majors at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia, her hometown.
“This broad spectrum of people that Tess knew and whose lives she touched all are testament to the influence that Tess had on so many — an impact that will endure in sweet memories of our time with her,” David Lourie, the head of St. Anne’s, said during the ceremony.
Majors was remembered through music, poetry, dancing and other forms of creative expression.
Friends performed the songs, “I Believe” by R.E.M., “Graceland” by Paul Simon and “My Girl” by The Temptations.
Over the past week, friends spent time “jamming in the family room” of the family home with her parents, listening to music or just being present in her favorite spot of the house, according to Lourie.
St. Anne’s humanities teacher David Smith also spoke at the ceremony and gave thanks to Majors’ parents, Christy and Inman Majors.
“Tess was Tess because Christy and Inman allowed Tess to be Tess, whatever that looked like,” Smith said. “How blessed and grateful we are that you did.”
Inman Majors wrote a written remembrance of his daughter in which he reflected on the memories he had with her.
“She loved life and got her money’s worth out of it,” Inman Majors wrote. “The family is heartbroken and will miss her so very much.”
Majors had interned with the Augusta Free Press earlier this year. The newspaper’s editor, Chris Graham, wrote a tribute to her, which Lourie read during the ceremony.
“Tess Majors would conquer the world,” Graham wrote. “I became convinced of that this past spring.”
Graham added: “It is beyond my ability to process what has happened since that none of the great things that Tess Majors was destined to do will be able to come to pass. I’m certain, as certain as I am of anything, that she was going to achieve in whatever it was that she decided to set her sights upon.”
Majors, 18, was a freshman at Barnard College in New York City when she was killed Dec. 11 while walking through Morningside Park near the school.
Police believe three teens are responsible for the crime. A 13-year-old has been arrested and charged with murder, and police are searching for the two other suspects.
Meanwhile, the Guardian Angels – the crime-prevention organization – started patrolling Morningside Park on Saturday. The move came in response to Majors’ murder and an uptick in crime in the neighborhood.
About 20 Guardian Angels members convened Saturday, with one group walking around the park and distributing photos of the suspects wanted in Majors’ killing and other groups going to the Columbia University campus nearby.
“There has been lethargic, impotent police response and the person responsible for that is the mayor,” Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told the New York Post.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Post that Sliwa’s remarks were “incredibly disrespectful to the hardworking men and women of the NYPD.”
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[Feature Photo: Tessa Majors/Handout]