This is the third in a series of stories on the anniversary of DJ Henry's death. The first focused on supporters changing their Facebook statuses in honor of the Pace University student. The second looked at the Jay-Z and Kanye West song about DJ Henry.
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Pace University students gathered in the school fitness center Sunday night to remember Danroy "DJ" Henry, who was killed last year after being shot outside a bar by a Pleasantville police officer.
The emotional ceremony didn't address the circumstances of Henry's death, but instead focused on his life. It featured speeches from friends and former teammates, a slideshow featuring pictures from Henry’s life and a video message from his parents as well. Pace students sat side by side on the bleachers in the gym as friends and teammates told stories about who Henry was, what he was like and how he will be missed.
Rich Bonhomme, a former roommate of Henry’s, said his friend will never be forgotten.
“He’s not [gone], he’s not and this proves it,” Bonhomme said.
Miniature flags with Henry’s No. 12 were printed out and sold for $1 and will be planted on the campus along Shirley Beth’s Way, a path in the center of campus, in his honor. The flags will remain until after Henry’s 22nd birthday on Oct. 29. The money raised from the flags will go towards a memorial clock that will be placed in front of the Goldstein Fitness Center and will be dedicated to Henry in the early spring.
T-shirts printed with Henry’s name and number littered the stands as students listened to stories, anecdotes and life lessons that friends had about Henry. Pace students of all different backgrounds, interests and experiences gathered to honor their fellow classmate and each one has something they’ll never forget about Henry.
“He was a good person to be around, he was always loving and taking care of everybody and that’s what I’ll always remember,” said Dominique West, a former teammate of Henry’s. “DJ was one of the people who always looked out for everybody.”
The Pace football team has ongoing efforts to honor Henry including the first DJ Henry Memorial Youth Football Clinic that took place on Oct. 2. The school student newspaper, The Pace Chronicle, also recently devoted its entire issue as a tribute to Henry.
One former teammate of Henry's summed up the mood of the evening.
“All I got to say is keep smiling because we’re all hurting right now,” he told the crowd.