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Faye Swetlik remembered as being 'magic' at memorial

A 'celebration of Faye' held Friday gave everyone a chance to mourn.

CAYCE, S.C. — Faye Swetlik, the South Carolina girl whose tragic story led to an outpouring of anguish from the community and the nation, was remembered as a "girl who loved everything and everyone" at a public memorial Friday.

The event took place at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce. Hundreds filled the pews of the sanctuary, including South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and First Lady Peggy McMaster. The 'Celebration of Faye' gave everyone a chance to mourn. Everyone who went was encouraged to wear pink and purple, which were her favorite colors. People also wore special t-shirts that read ""Faye"th, Hope, Love."

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The memorial began with a processional to the song "You Are My Sunshine," which was said to be Faye's favorite tune.

Dr. Eddie Coakley, pastor at Trinity Baptist, led the ceremony. At one point, he read a note from Faye's mother, Selena, who explained how the little girl got her name and what she meant to everyone. 

"Faye is french for fairy, and when I was pregnant, she felt like fairies dancing around. And I always wanted her to believe in magic. So she was dubbed Faye Marie. My little Fairy Marie. And magic, she was. From the day she was born. 

"We taught her the beauty of magic in everything. And the most important type of magic that we taught her was love. Faye loved so hard. She loved everything and she loved everyone. There wasn't a single person she couldn't make smile."

"She wanted everyone to be as happy as she was, and she never wanted to see people sad or hurting. And so she always tried to say a kind word to strangers and to give the best hugs. Her giggle was infectious. She lit up every room she walked into. One look in her bright blue eyes and the world was okay again."

Video: Listen to Faye's Mother's Eulogy for her Daughter

"One of the best things about Faye was her uncanny ability to bring people together. Everyone here today is a testimony to that. Faye could bring completely different groups together for a common goal. She didn't like anyone fighting, so she made sure that they wouldn't fight. That was her superpower. She's a testament to all that we need is love. So long that we can love one another Faye's memory can carry on. 

"So, I ask of you that when you leave here, any time you have a chance to, to love a little more, be a little bit more kind, to complement a stranger, to dance in the rain, to stop and smell the flowers, show just a little bit more love to everyone you meet, and just have a Faye day."

During the ceremony, a video montage of Faye was played that included her singing "You Are My Sunshine." 

Video: Faye Swetlik video tribute played at public memorial

The memorial is the latest tribute for the little girl. On Saturday, following her autopsy in Charleston, she received a police motorcade as her body was brought back to Lexington County.

On Tuesday night, there was a candlelight vigil outside the town hall in Cayce. Other smaller tributes have been made as well, including a vigil last Saturday night and makeshift memorials outside her neighborhood and her school.  

RELATED: Faye Swetlik's parents say they appreciate love, support from community

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Who was Faye? 

Swetlik was a first-grader at Springdale Elementary School. Cayce DPS Chief Byron Snellgrove talked during her disappearance a little bit about the kind of girl Swetlik was.

"Faye is bubbly, energetic," he said at the time. "Faye's teacher loves her. Faye's SRO loves her. Faye's classmates love her. When she walks into a room she brightens it up. Everybody loves Faye."  

RELATED: Faye Swetlik was 'bubbly, energetic, loved dresses'

Snellgrove said the girl loved dresses, fancy shoes, spending time with her family, cats, and playing outside.

Foutz and Collins said Faye liked to collect rocks, play outside and take selfies with her family and friends.

"She's fun, bubbly,  loves to color, always has a smile on her face and the prettiest blue eyes you've ever seen," says the family friend. "A smile that would melt your heart."

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