In Loving Memory of Our Classmate – Forever

Kiera Fitzpatrick, Editor-in-Chief

“I’ve never had an older sister, will you adopt me and be my older sister?” The first words I heard from her that would define our relationship.

Brittany Vega was a beautiful, kind-spirited, little girl. As she forever will remain. On September 22, 2010 at 6:22 A.M, Wantagh High School lost a freshman. Though she may have not known everyone, she did touch everyone who did have the pleasure of meeting this angel.

The halls were silent, through the sobs and hugging of everyone, friends or classmates, Brittany was remembered. How often have we heard, “Hurry across the street and look both ways.” Many times- but we don’t often realize that those seemingly insignificant almost-instinctually said words would be the difference between getting to school safely and not getting across at all.

Brittany was the oldest of four siblings, taking on new responsibilities as a freshman in high school, hoping to become more independent. I would see her in the hallways, always smiling.

The Wantagh Abbey Center was filled with family, friends, residents of Wantagh, all coming out to show what a tragic loss this community suffered. Words are an injustice to her and what has happened.

One of her many friends, junior Mike Garcia, described this devastating loss of such a beautiful, talented, and precious soul: “Brittany used to be my next door neighbor and I knew her since she was practically born. We always used to play together and have so many good times, and yes it’s true – she made me play with dolls. I used to feel embarrassed when it would come up but now I feel proud that I had all these memories with her. Every time I look out my bedroom window and I see Brittany’s great-grandmother’s house and the backyard we used to play in, it pains me to think that I won’t be able to make any more memories with her.”

This is a cruel reality that we all must live with on a day-to-day basis. The school is offering tremendous help to everyone who needs it. Wantagh has been so giving to the Vega family. Gifts and money cannot bring Brittany back, but it will help for a brighter future for Brittany’s younger siblings. There have been fundraisers, donations, and just the simple “I’m sorry for your loss.” Every gesture makes a difference to those who are still grieving.

Wantagh High School Principal Ms. Breivogel believes that the WHS family will always miss the sweet, gentle, student that Brittany Vega was. She said, “In her memory, our students are carrying out her name through acts of kindness to each other.” This is something Brittany would have done. Her legacy is kindness and compassion. And there’s no doubt in Ms. Breivogel’s mind that Brittany will live on in the hearts of the students of Wantagh.

I can’t help but to imagine Brittany with the most beautiful wings, almost too big for her little body, that she would be wearing with a smile. The pole on Sunrise Highway is so beautifully decorated for her, and each time I pass it I can’t help but to smile and think of her and choke back tears. We all just have to remember, that although her bright smile won’t be parading around Wantagh ’s hallways – nothing ever rained on Brittany’s parade, and someday we’ll all see her again. We will never forget her. Through our struggles, the stories we tell, our beginnings, our ends, our triumphs -through everything, Brittany will always be there.