Community Pays Tribute to New London Drowning Victim - NBC Connecticut

Community Pays Tribute to New London Drowning Victim



    A few hundred friends, relatives and neighbors came together to mourn the loss of 6-year-old Anthony Bernoudy who drowned at Green Harbor Beach on July 4th. (Published Friday, July 5, 2013)

    Hundreds gathered to remember six-year-old Anthony Bernoudy who drowned at Green Harbor Beach on the 4th of July.

    Family and friends gathered to light candles and pray in his honor Friday night.

    "I lost my mom but I can't tell you how it feels to lose your son," said Telisa Atkins who shared a moment with Anthony's mom Tamara.

    Telisa works in the cafeteria at his school. "It really hurt me because any time anybody mess with him at school, he'd run up to me. He'd hug me. He'd say TT. They bothering me," she said.

    The New London community surrounded the family in prayer. Mother Tamara and Anthony's grandmother and great grand mother laid balloons in his memory, adding to the growing memorial. Nearly 200 came for the boy who went missing Thursday evening after 5:00 p.m.

    Anthony was found hours later by emergency divers at Green Harbor Beach. Many thanked all the first responders and divers for their efforts as well.

    "I kind of liked him being here. We had lots of fun," said 6 year old Jontay General who knew Anthony since they were 2.

    He competed against Bernoudy in the last little league game he'd play, just hours before he went missing. "Kind of sad…but I was kind of excited when I came because I wanted to give him this as a rest in peace."  Jontay left a mitt and ball with Anthony's name on it.

    "He was a beautiful little boy and I've seen him grow from the beginning of the year til the end of the year," said Cathy Iozzia, his kindergarten teacher. "And I just want to say he'll always have a special place in the heart."

    "I'm going to miss him. I love him. And I'm pretty sure all the kids are going to miss him," Atkins added.

    Many mourners like Telisa Atkins are still wondering why there was no lifeguard on duty.

    City officials tell us Green Harbor Beach will be open Saturday, though mourners want something to be done to ensure the safety of all their children.