STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Heartland residents set off at least 70 lanterns in Advance on Tuesday in memory of loved ones that have passed away.
Debbie Beussink lost her son Aaron in June 2010.
Tuesday, Jan. 20 would have been his 31st birthday.
Beussink wanted to celebrate his life with the lanterns.
"Just the symbolism of them flying up and the colors, I thought what a better way to give tribute to Aaron."
She said a lot of families in the community have lost their children or other family, and when Beussink posted the idea online, more people wanted to join in.
At least 50 other people used the lanterns to celebrate those lost lives.
Aaron's father David Master's said losing a child is something no parent wants to experience.
"It was my worst nightmare like it is everyone else," Master's said. "And then to have it happen it was like why?"
Aaron was well known in the community.
"Aaron was wonderful, had lots of friends, never met a stranger, just a great kid," Beussink said.
The lanterns were released in their memory.
"It's a small gesture but it's a neat way to of remembering people and their not forgotten, ever, " Beussink said.