8-year-old Ally Berry Wilson posthumously honored at 2nd grade graduation

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Phones were out recording the students’ songs and dances in a packed gym at Harriet Tubman Charter School’s Montessori campus.

But the second grade graduation that should’ve been a joyous occasion for all, was bittersweet for the Wilson family.

“It’s a lot of mixed emotions going on. I’m happy but I’m kind of sad,” Octavia Wilson said.

Wilson was surrounded by loved ones at the ceremony, all wearing shirts or holding signs of her daughter Ally Berry Wilson. Last month the 8-year-old fell into the Mississippi River along with her sister Brandy and their friend Kevin Poole. Both Brandy’s and Poole’s bodies were found but not Ally’s.

Ally Berry remembered at graduation
Ally Berry remembered at graduation

At the ceremony she was supposed to be at, Ally’s school honored her before the festivities started and administrators gave her family a graduation certificate.

“It hurts. Like I said before I’ve never felt pain like I’m feeling now,” Wilson said. “But I’m going to celebrate today. Ally had a beautiful spirit. My daughter had a beautiful spirit.”

The celebrations continued after the ceremony closed out, as Ally’s loved ones second lined out of the gym waving a poster with her face on it. Wilson says it wasn’t planned but it was something Ally’s aunt felt compelled to do.

“She was just happy and she knew one thing that if my daughter was here, she would party like a rockstar,” Wilson said. “My daughter loved to dance so I’m going to dance for her.”

The family says they appreciate being included in the ceremony and all that the school has done for them.

“They have been here on their feet with me, coming to the house showing support. They have done any and everything,” Wilson said.

And as loved ones continue to honor the three children taken too soon, they have a warning for parents.

“Look to your kids more. Because you never know, me - this mother, could be you,” Wilson said.

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