CHAGRIN FALLS -- One week after a little boy was struck and killed at Washington and South Franklin streets downtown, a tearful memorial was held at the village fire department Saturday in his honor.
From first responders to perfect strangers, more than 300 gathered to reflect on the life and memory of eight-year-old Eli Sachar who was struck and killed by Christine Gregory, 62, while crossing the street with his family.
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"This village that welcomes visitors now mourns the loss of this child," remarked Mayor Thomas Brick, who opened the memorial service.
"We respond to traumatic events regularly but when a child is involved, it's different. It's one that we will not forget, "said Rev. Robert Hoffman, of the Valley Lutheran Church and a Chagrin Falls first responder.
Before a tearful crowd, Eli's grandfather, Gordon Suherur, thanked the Chagrin Falls community for their compassion and sympathy during the unthinkable.
"I want to express, on behalf of our family and the Sachar family, our deep sense of gratitude and appreciation...to the community and it's first responders those who were there at the time," he said.
"Our message, quite frankly, is very simple it's just thank you much. We weren't sure how we were going to be able to do that, and this has provided us with an unexpected opportunity."