Candlelight Vigil in Honor of Julie Brightwell

It was just a week ago that Waffle House employee Julie Brightwell’s life was taken in a senseless act of violence. Tonight, a community left in shock remembers her life.
Candles glowed in the dark and hundreds gathered in silence on Biloxi Beach, not to remember the tragedy that took the life of a Waffle House worker, but to remember the life of Julie Brightwell. The large number of those in attendance prove Brightwell was loved but coworker Dawn Dunaway says it was Brightwell who loved others just as much, “She is the sweetest person that I have ever ran into. Her personality just brightens anybody’s bad day and she loved her customers.”
Eight lanterns were released into the sky, signifying the eight years Brightwell worked for Waffle House. Brightwell had no relatives in Mississippi. Instead, those who worked beside her were her family. Vice President of Waffle House Pat Warner said, “Julie touched a lot of people, both her fellow associates and her customers. I think that showed tonight. Just wanted to kind of gather and remember her and have her spirit come alive in us.”
While Brightwell no longer enters Waffle House for that late night shift, a memorial just outside the doors of her former workplace, along with the family and friends she left behind, will keep her spirit alive. “Every Thanksgiving and every Christmas won’t be the same. I’m always going to light a candle for Mrs. Julie,” said Dunaway.
Brightwell’s body will be cremated. Half will be taken to her home in California and the other half will be left in Biloxi for her friends on the Coast to visit.

Categories: Local News, News

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