MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – They were too young to understand why Brianna Reese was not on stage with them as they recited the Pledge of Allegiance Friday.
But the black history performance at the Greater Love Full Gospel Baptist Church was dedicated to the 4-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a car while walking with her father on Northwest 27th Avenue last weekend.
"It's been hurting for the whole staff," the Rev. Dwayne Richardson said. "She's been here since she was a baby. She was like everybody's baby's here."
The 3- and 4-year-olds were some of Brianna's classmates.
Her mother, Balinda Lopez, sat in the front row. Lopez said she is grateful for all of the support she has received.
"I got a whole lot of support, a lot of prayers and condolences," she said. "And I thank everyone for showing their support."
Police are still investigating. The driver of the car that struck Brianna remained at the scene and is cooperating with police.
Her funeral will be held Saturday at the church.