(Photography by Felicia Marie Sanchez)
Last weekend, hundreds of Shawols (SHINee fans) traveled to Dallas, Texas for a Jonghyun Vigil hosted by Cassidy Fultz. The event took place at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas on Saturday, January 6th.
Klyde Warren Park is a popular park known for it’s beautiful scenery of downtown, being conveniently beside the Dallas Museum of Art, and the various food trucks along the street every day. With the park being over 5.0 acres long it offers fun playgrounds for children, a dog park for your furry friends, surrounding restaurants/shops, outdoor concerts, yoga/recreational events, and more! The park is cherished by locals and tourists, and was the perfect spot to bring together Shawols for a very special event.
An estimated 300 Shawols gathered to celebrate the life of SHINee member, Kim Jonghyun. With pearl aqua being the official color of SHINee, many fans were handing out pearl aqua glow sticks, glow necklaces, balloons, as well as LED operated candles to create a sea of light. At the front of the group where Cassidy and her other helping teammates were, two white tables and one nightstand stood. Fans entering on site were greeted by the sounds of Jonghyun’s music playing on speakers.
On one table was a poster titled “Letters To Jonghyun” where fans could write a personal letter to Jonghyun himself, as long or short as they pleased. The second table held a large portrait of Jonghyun, on top of a white poster which fans could also write comments about Jonghyun. Both tables were accompanied by pearl aqua balloons, and LED opperated candles. The nightstand had a different large portrait of Jonghyun, surrounded by tons of flowers and small gifts.
With the event beginning at 6:30pm, Cassidy grabbed a megaphone and gathered the group together and gave a very touching speech about Jonghyun‘s impact on her life. She then turned the topic to the audience and spoke to the crowd-
“You are not alone. You have so many people fighting for you, everyone here is rooting for you, we are all family now. We are all going through the same traumatic event, we all feel pain. But.. when we come together, when we work together to make each other happy, we become stronger. Your depression and your sadness will not become you. Everyone is fighting for you but there is one more person fighting for you tonight… Kim Jonghyun is fighting for you and he will always be there for you. He may not be here on his earth in person but he is definitely here tonight, and he is so thankful for all the love you all have given him.”
As she continued her speech, fans joined closer together in sorrow touched by Cassidy’s words. With the conclusion of her speech, she gave the voice to the people. Volunteers were able to come up to the front and voice their words to Jonghyun with the megaphone for others to hear.
The number of people wanting to speak grew rapidly, resulting in a line of eager fans patiently waiting to say their peace about Jonghyun. One fan took this opportunity to speak about the effects of suicide-
“It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to be upset but, please don’t let something like this bring you to the point to you ending your life. There are people that care and if you were to be gone, it will effect people for the rest of their life. We love you, we care about you, please be strong and never give up.”
With the conclusion of many fans saying their lovely speeches, there was one special thing left. The city was quiet at that moment; everyone gathered together hand-in-hand with their candles, few with their heads down in sorrow, and sang a beautiful tune to the iconic SHINee debut, “Replay“. With the event coming to an end at 8:30pm, it was a breathtaking sight no one one will be able to forget.
A lovely Shawol named Brittany Jones documented the event in a heartwarming vlog you can watch here. She also interviews other Shawols, and asked questions that recieved heartwarming answers. Thank you Brittany for your vlog. <3
Kim Jonghyun is an iconic music legend who will never be forgotten. He proudly stood up for LGBTQ rights, constantly spoke about his depression, and always had a smile on his face. He was always there for his fans, cheering them on to succeed and do their best in their lives. To many, he was an inspiration that kept us going during hard times.
If you or someone you know are going through depression, do not hesitate to get help. Jonghyun was a voice for those going through depression, it is a very serious illness that no one should go through alone. Please seek help, please love yourself. You are loved, and worth so much more than you understand. Keep going.
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255