ROANOKE — The memories and goodwill of a community turned what could have been considered a funeral into a celebration of the life for recently deceased Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington.
Standing at the front of Roanoke’s St. Andrews Catholic Church, Gil Harrington spoke on the wild ride she and her husband faced in the search for their missing daughter Morgan, which took them from “Dr. Phil to Capitol Hill, and everywhere in between.”
“We went to a heavy metal concert," Harrington said, “you got your papa on Facebook and me writing a blog. Who would have ever imagined such a thing?”
Gil Harrington said she and her son, Alex, were looking into getting a tattoo to commemorate Morgan.
“We did check it out, but so far we’re still testing the concept out with sharpie. It’s coming.” Harrington said, holding up her left wrist, dotted with the family’s “2-4-1” logo, standing for “I love you too much, forever, once more.”
The Mass service brought out several hundred to the church from locations as far as West Virginia and Ohio, despite the dangerous road conditions and icy weather that Morgan’s father Dan Harrington would call “frozen tears from the heavens.” Harrington said it was “not the day we would’ve liked.”
“I kind of thought I’d be coming to celebrate Morgan’s graduation, or perhaps her marriage, or perhaps the baptism of her children,” Dan Harrington said. “But no, we’re here to celebrate the end of her life.”