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PORTSMOUTH--There was no shortage of hugs and tears as hundreds gathered to remember Marvell Edmondson...

'Its a blessing to be alive,' said Edmondson's coach, 'Life is precious and young people from the oldest... to the youngest realize don't take life for granted'

Edmondson's body was recovered from the Appomattox River Monday--authorities say the Virginia State college student was the victim of hazing. His mother said she hopes her son's death serves as an example--so this doesn't happen to any other college students again.

'It's been a very very long road for us,' said Kim Edmondson, 'We went for three days not knowing if my child was in that river... and when they pulled his body out we got a sense of relief. Keep in contact... tell people what you're doing.... hazing is a very big thing on college campus. You all need to be very careful. We'll never know exactly all the details of what happened with my son.. But he was loved'.

Edmondson wore number 5 when he played for Churchland and his high school sweetheart wants to retire that number...

'He's somewhere watching over us, ' Jamisha Riddick said, 'I got an angel watching over me and I can't wait to be up there with him... and I want to say long live 5... 5 will always be alive ... in all of our hearts... and wherever your'e at, if you can hear me I just want to tell you that I love you.'

Marvell was named after his father... A dad who mustered the strength to talk of his son...

'Ever since my little boy came into this world, ' said Marvell Edmondson, 'He was this size when he came into this world..... four pounds...that was the love of my life right there. I tried to be the best father that I could be to him. '

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