BOSTON (CBS) – A mother coping with the pain of losing her baby boy spoke for the first time since his death.

The people of Dorchester held a vigil for 17-month-old Gabriel Pierre, who was found dead in a sweltering daycare van last week.

The community came together Monday night to keep the little boy’s memory alive.

WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias reports

Gabriel’s mother, Virginie Cazir, wants to ensure this type of tragedy never happens again.

Some who came knew the family, many did not, but they came to Floyd Street to remember what happened last week.

“I’ve been strong for him because if I’m not strong for him who’s going to be strong for him,” says Cazir.

The toddler was left in a transportation van, because the driver forgot to drop him off at daycare instead leaving him for hours in a hot van with the windows rolled up.

“I want you all to take this time to cherish your children because I never had the time to say goodbye to mine I did not know I wouldn’t see him in the afternoon.”

“Please don’t let this happen again,” Cazir told the crowd.

Surrounded by family, friends and strangers they held candle’s, released balloons and prayed.

“He’s in a better place he’s not hurt, he’s happy.”

The funeral for Gabriel has been scheduled for this Saturday at St. Mark’s in Dorchester.

Comments (2)
  1. Thomas Bleser says:

    I’m crying too, but for genuine reasons. I’m crying for the end of all possibility of sustainably affordable daycare for thousands of mothers who really do work and who aren’t just getting a paycheck to meet their employers’ affirmative action quota, especially the English-speaking ones from Arizona seeking sanctuary from the Mexican drug gangs who are quietly taking over the border states.

    You can bet there’s one Boston immigration lawyer isn’t crying now when he thinks of the fat referral fee he’ll be getting from this case. That poor kid was dead for three days while Ed Davis was still looking for the next of kin…

    The Haitians are crying all right. I haven’t seen such an outpouring of public grief since the last memorial service for a dead head of state in the Peoples Republic of North Korea.

  2. Molly says:

    This sweet little guy looked so much like my son when he was a toddler. I’ve never seen such a smile it reached right through to me. Seriously, his Mom was right – just look at his picture.

    Daycare is brutal – if you work hard for your money, and rent and daycare is more than 50% of the paycheck. I wish he could go to a safe one, and we could live in a safe neighborhood, but neither is true right now. The least I’ve been able to do is steer clear of the vans, after some spooky neglect.

    This story could have happened to us. That it happened to this sweet little man breaks our heart. I look at the picture, and I truly see our son. I wish they could have played together.

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