In a moving video tribute Thursday night, the town of Pembroke, Massachusetts, honored the lives of two best friends killed in a crash this weekend.
Billy Hickey and Joey Birolini, both 23, were like brothers, and part of a close-knit circle of long-time hockey teammates.
"I knew there was something special about Joey when I first met him," said friend Alex Wengryn in the video. "He was the goofiest, kindest, sweetest person we've ever met."
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"Bill always made everything so much fun," said friend Joe Tarquini. "He was always the bravest of the group, protector of everyone, always there to make everybody laugh."
Because of the pandemic and social distancing concerns, organizers put together most of the vigil online and with Plymouth Area Community Television.
On the Town Green, where some community members also gathered, about 1,000 paper lanterns were lined up right in front of pictures of the two young men, hockey sticks and jerseys.
"Joey and Billy were really just natural born leaders and they were the best of all of us," said friend Mike Fahie. "The good do die young, and the effect they had in their 23 years will be felt forever."
The two friends were killed over the weekend when the car they were in hit a tree and a utility pole in Pembroke.
"The hardest part is just knowing two beautiful souls are no longer here," said family friend Chris Brundage.
The two grew up together. They were hockey standouts who were looked up to by their buddies.
"We miss you already," said friend Cam Judkins. "You guys will live through us forever. I love you boys."
There will be a joint funeral on Saturday. Both men will be buried next to each other.