It's been nine months since a Savannah mother and father lost their son, a fire department lost its comrade, and a community lost a hero.
Wesley Franklin was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Monday, June 25th outside Deb's Pub and Grub in the Sandfly neighborhood.
To this day– no one has been brought to justice for his murder.
Today, those closest to him gathered to pay tribute to Wesley in a special way.
Wesleys family and friends say that today is a bitter sweet. Nine months to the day, since he was killed, they are now remembering their final moments with the young man who was taken too soon. By paying tribute to him, they say his memory lives on and justice will eventually be served.
“I'm feeling all right,” says DeLane Reese High.
“It was a hard morning. It's a little tough being out here right now.”
With every balloon filled, a tear and a prayer for her son, fallen Isle of Hope firefighter, Wesley Franklin.
“I just want justice you know. Not just for my son, but for everyone else who has to deal with murders and crimes that are going on.”
Each balloon is a moment, a memory, a chance to lift thoughts and messages up to the sky.
It's been almost a year since his death. His father, Jim Franklin remembers it like it was yesterday.
“Nine months to the day, it doesn't get any easier. Nine months to the day, is the last time I hugged my son.”
Now, they look back on their final moments with the one they loved.
“I last talked to him at 11 that night,” says High.
“He said, ‘I love you mom', and I said ‘I love you more, ‘and he said, ‘I love you to infinity', and I said, ‘To the moon and back.'”
And that is exactly where these balloons are headed.
His family says events like this one help heal the heart, but also keeps Wesley's story alive—spreading the message that for them, it's not over.
Franklin says justice has to come.
“The guy is out there somewhere. He may not be in town, but events like this, it raises awareness that he needs to be caught.”
According to the Franklin family, the detective that was working the case has since been transferred to a new position. As of now, there is no update on this case.
Anyone with information in this case is urged to call Crimestoppers at 912-234-2020.