Family displays Carson Crimeni's jersey at the hockey rink where he used to play
Father hopes memorial will remind people to speak up when they see bullying
The family and friends of Carson Crimeni gathered on Friday to hang the late 14-year-old's jersey in the halls of the Langley, B.C., hockey rink where he once played.
The memorial display at Langley Sportsplex features a blue and yellow hockey jersey encased in a frame and an image of Crimeni as a young boy with the words "Play and Be Kind" written below.
"Hanging this up is not necessarily to remember Carson," said Darrell Crimeni, Carson's grandfather. "I think it's just part of a bigger awareness campaign."
"If we could increase awareness to the dangers [of bullying and substance use], that might help save a family."
Crimeni died last August from an overdose he suffered at a skate park in Walnut Grove. His death caused a widespread uproar after the public learned that witnesses stood by and captured video of the boy overdosing, later posting the footage on social media.
Watch the emotional hanging of Crimeni's jersey as the community and Carson's close friends look on:
"They left him to die," his grandfather said in the days following Crimeni's death.
Wearing a bright pink shirt with the words "Play & Be Kind 4 Carson" etched on it, his grandfather remarked on the turnout at Friday's event and tearfully thanked those in the community who made the memorial possible, including Chris and Chantal Crowell, whose son played hockey with Crimeni.
"There's thousands of people that every day are going to walk by this," said Mr. Crowell.
He expects they'll have a variety of reactions to the jersey, from drawing motivation from it to even fist-pumping the display on the way out. He hopes it stays up forever.
"It's about keeping his voice alive because he didn't have a voice when he needed it most."
Aron Crimeni, Carson's father, echoed this sentiment.
"If this reminds one person who sees bullying even to speak out about it, or to stop it if they're an adult, then it's done its job."
With files from Alex Migdal