JUPITER, Fla. - Boats glowed on the water and those on shore pointed their glowing hands to the sky to remember Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen. Using glowsticks the community came together to light the coast in memory of the Tequesta teens, two years after they went missing at sea.
"To come and out here and see everybody just wanting to spend time with them, it puts a smile on my face," said Chad Smith, Austin's best friend.
Smith said he grew up on the water with Austin. He couldn't believe his friend went out from the Jupiter inlet two years ago and never returned.
"I don't know any kid at the age of 14 that knew the water better than him, he could run these intracoastals with his eyes shut and be fine," said Smith about Austin.
The search for Austin and Perry sprung coastal communities across the country into action.
"Two boys went missing, how can you not get involved," said Elysa Vulpis.
Pamela Cohen, Perry's mother, released this statement Monday night:
"Tonight our family and close friends will sit on the beach where Perry grew up very close to the inlet where he and Austin departed on their last journey and watch others as we did last year honor both boys lives. Still after two years there is not a night in which I fall asleep and close my eyes and dream of having my beloved son Perry and his dear friend Austin home with us all. Tonight we thank the outpouring of support from the community, public servants, countless volunteers, private pilots, boaters and searchers local and from around the country and abroad who through their deeds remind us all that we are not alone. For the Palm Beach community, I continue to hold a special debt of gratitude. For the Tequesta Police and Fire Departments, Jupiter Police Department, Palm Beach Sheriff thank you for all your support and always being there. To the Florida Department of Law Enforcement we thank you for your pursuit of the truth and answers to the disappearance of our beloved son Perry and his dear friend Austin."
Last week Carly Black, Austin's mother also released a statement through her attorney: "The last two years have been a period of grieving and sadness for Carly and her family, as well as the family of Perry."
The statement went on to say that Carly is further saddened by ongoing litigation between the families.
But tonight the anniversary event was not about lawsuits, it was about remembering Austin and Perry, two 14-year-old boys full of life with a love for the water.
"It doesn't matter what's going on in the news or what's going on in the lawsuits or anything like that, still you can't deny the fact that there's an agonizing heartache going on," said Karen Emerson, a community member.
Here is a list of similar events that were planned Monday to honor Austin & Perry:
JUPITER, FL- JUPITER INLET - Jupiter Road all the way down make a left (ocean trail way) - by the memorial
ATLANTA, GA- LAKE LANIER- 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway Buford, GA 30518 NOTE: You might need to use the street address, 7000 Holiday Rd
AUBURNDALE, FL – LAKE STELLA- 108 LAKE STELLA DRIVE, AUBURNDALE, FL -
BAREFOOT BAY PRIVATE BEACH-ALL RESIDENTS AND THEIR GUEST PLEASE-south of the Sebastian Inlet on A1A
BERMUDA - Fairmont Southampton beach. It's right next to horseshoe bay beach
BLAIRSVILLE, GA- LAKE NOTLEY
BOYNTON BEACH, FL BOYNTON BCH OCEAN FRONT PARK
CAPTIVA, FL- MEET OCEAN FRONT OF TWEEN WATERS RESORT- 15951 CAPTIVA DR, CAPTIVA, FL
CAPE CORAL, FL CAPE CORAL PKWY BRIDGE-WEST SIDE OF THE BRIDGE-
CHESAPEAKE CITY, MD- BOHEMIA BAY YACHT HARBOR- 1026 TOWN POINT RD, CHEASAPEAKE CITY, MD-
COCOA BEACH, FL COCOA BEACH PIER- 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
COLUMBUS, TX- BEASONS PARK- HWY 90 COLUMBUS, TX- - Meet at the front of the park
DANIA BEACH, FL – DANIA BEACH PIER PIER 300 N. BEACH RD, DANIA- Meet in from of the pier 8pm EST, you will then walk onto the beach.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL- 70 Boardwalk, Daytona Beach - We will be meeting at 8pm EST in front of the bandshell
DAUPHIN ISLAND, AL – DAUPHIN ISLAND PIER-1509 BIENVILLE BLVD, DAUPHIN ISLAND, AL -
EDMONTON ALBERTA, CANADA - HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE OVER THE NORTH SASKATCHEWAN-
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL - Sapphire Beach (North Beach Community) is also called Grayce K Barck North Beach Park.
OAK ISLAND, NORTH CAROLINA We will be meeting at 8pm EST at NE 70th street
ORLANDO, FL LAKE EOLA DOWNTOWN- RELAX GRILL at 211 Eola Pkway, Orlando, FL -
ORMOND BEACH, FL - 1800 OCEANSHORE BLVD-ORMOND BY THE SEA - Rivocean approach
PIERMONT, NY- PIERMONT PIER- WE WILL MEET AT THE END OF FERRY STREET -
PINE, CO - ELKS FALLS 12102 S. Elk Creek Rd. Pine, CO. At the bottom of the falls at the large pool- We will be meeting at 8pm MDT and we will be joining the rest of the world and lighting it up at 8:30pm MDT
POMPANO BEACH- Pompano Beach Pier - 222 Pompano Beach Blvd. Meeting at 8pm on the sand, south side of the pier next to the first lifeguard post.
PONCE INLET, FL - WINTER HAVEN PARK - 4589 S ATLANTIC AVE - PONCE INLET -
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – SPRING LAKE PARK- 3520 LAKEVIEW BLVD, PORT CHARLOTTE, FL