A light rain fell on the hundreds gathered at Steamboat Landing Aug. 11 to remember and celebrate the life of Laila Al-Matrouk.

The 15-year-old Belfast girl died Aug. 7 after being struck by a car two days earlier near her home on Route 1. Police say she was riding her bicycle when she crossed one lane of traffic before being struck by a driver who tried to avoid hitting her. Al-Matrouk’s sister, in a Facebook post, said the teen was on life support before her death.

The group gathered Saturday heard thank-yous to the community and emergency medical personnel from Al-Matrouk’s family, passed along by her friend Olivia Lovejoy on their behalf. Lovejoy paid tribute to her friend as well.

“I realize Laila’s overall beauty cannot be described in mere words,” she said. “ … We must live our lives with Laila’s spirit.”

Several original songs and poems were read in Al-Matrouk’s honor. One speaker described a phrase used by a friend — "I universe you" — to describe how many of Al-Matrouk's friends were feeling. To “universe” someone, he said, is more than to love.

He continued, saying those present would continue to fight against the same things Al-Matrouk herself repeatedly denounced, including the United States’ immigration policies.

“We will not let you down,” he said.

A pair of speakers read a poem penned by Al-Matrouk, awarded first place in a high school writing contest, titled “There once was a time.” Its last line:

“There once was time when we thought we had nobody, now we have each other.”

Songs by a cappella singer Amy Robbins-Wilson floated quietly across the green as people lit candles.

When the informal gathering concluded, those attending were invited to share a message on a set of flags to be displayed at Belfast Area High School, as well as to leave remembrances on a photograph of Al-Matrouk. A small group of friends gathered farther down the Harbor Walk to launch lanterns over the harbor as the sky cleared to a colorful sunset.