UVA vigil for Hannah Graham draws thousands - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

UVA vigil for Hannah Graham draws thousands

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) -

A crowd of some 2,000 gathered at the University of Virginia Thursday to send a huge message - they haven't lost hope.

As the campus paused to reflect, there was a mixture of sadness and hope. It was standing room only at the McIntire Amphitheater with supporters optimistic the 18-year-old is coming home. One student said to the crowd "[Hannah] where are you? We want you back where you belong."

Soft music and candles lit the atmosphere as students united as one. The sad reality they're battling: five days and still no Hannah Graham.

"You start to feel a loss of support, a loss of hope so what we're trying to do is celebrate the hope that is here," said UVA Student council President Jalen Ross.

So he organized a candlelight vigil to rally the campus in a plea of confidence for Hannah's return.

"It's the first time we're getting together and we're all together supporting her and hoping she comes home," Hannah Woodruff added.

Graham's friends spoke about her strong work ethic, her willingness to help others, and what they call a cheerful personality.

"She's really bubbly and funny. She's just a real kind person. The first time I met her I just knew that she's just a real good person deep down," Rachel Orlowsky said.

Now that spirit is shining bright - one not of sadness, but of unity and hope.

"The hope that we're going to bring her back," Ross added.

There were so many students in attendance, there weren't enough candles to go around. But one thing there was plenty of - support that's growing by the minute as this entire community awaits answers and their Hannah.

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