It was a sea of purple at Ahoskie Elementary School on Monday -- purple balloons and purple clothes, as Aaliyah and Angel Cherry's friends said their final goodbyes in a public display of remembrance.
"Our students wanted to, and we always believe we need to let our children grieve, experience through grieving process," says principal Stan Warren.
Employees of "Just Save" in Ahoskie took a bundle of handwritten notes from the students and stuffed them into balloons, to be taken to the school and released.
Each student paid one dollar to have the priveledge of wearing purple clothes instead of their school uniform. All the money raised will go towards buying working smoke detectors for those in town that need them.
It's something the Cherry family did not have.
"Whatever it takes, if it's just one, helps save a life, then it's worth it," Warren says.
As the sea of purple balloons took to the sky on Monday, the girls' mother, Cherita Cherry, couldn't help but hope the messages inside reach her two girls.
"They will be all smiles. They will be all smiles," she says.