Williamsville (WKBW) Hundreds gathered at the St. Peter and Paul church in Williamsville Saturday morning to grieve the loss of Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14 year old Williamsville North student who took his own life after years of bullying.
Cheyenne Phillips was one of Jamey's friends.
"Why him? And why are kids so mean to him? Just because of his sexual orientation. And it's not fair," she said.
"This is that saddest thing that could have happened. For a family to lose a child, who is just beginning his life. And to lose him, this is the worst thing that could have happened," local resident Cathy Reade added.
Many remembered the teen as a good friend, and a loving and happy person, though he was suffering cruel words and hateful acts at the hands of bullies.
"He was very nice and caring, and always there for his friends. He would help when you had problems and never lied, always told you the truth, came right out with everything," Phillips said.
"I was so surprised because he always seemed so happy and stuff, and he never really opened up about people bullying him. He was kind of secretive about it." Adam Kalota, another friend of Jamey's, said.
"People thought he just brushed it off, but it was more inside. And it's more in-depth than people think it is," fellow Williamsville North student Pamela Wheeler said.
Jamey's anti-bullying message of love over hate has taken root across the country, from Lady Gaga's tweets, to a local student selling bracelets to benefit the family.
"I have bracelets for Jamey, so when I see them I think about him and pray. And make sure he's doing good in heaven," Kalota said.
Cheyenne Phillips added a message of hope for all those who still suffer being bullied.
"Just be happy with yourself and know that you're beautiful the way you are. And don't worry about what other people think about you because if you're happy with you then that's all that matters."
Amherst Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Jamey's death, and authorities are not ruling out the possibility of bringing charges against whoever was responsible for the taunting and bullying.
On Sunday there will be a candlelight vigil and march in memory of Jamey. It starts at 8 pm at the corner of Allen and Franklin Streets, and ends at Club Marcella on Main Street where a fundraiser will be held. Donations are also being accepted at any Bank of America branch, in care of "Friends of Jamey Rodemeyer."