While returning from a trip to China, Emily Rosati decided to give away her 2018 yearbook photo as a gift to the people of Newport News, Virginia, who loved her and lost a loved one in the Dec. 19 fire that claimed the lives of four firefighters. “To the people in Newport News, Virginia who have lost someone important to them. I’m thankful to know that I was able to help someone through this.”
Rosati accepted the 2019 yearbook photo on behalf of everyone who has been touched by the tragic event, according to photos tweeted by the Washington Post.
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Let’s call this a compassionate gesture
Rosati graduated from Menchville High School in the fall. In February, she was crowned homecoming queen. That December, she was on her way back to China for a research trip. On the airport news screen, she read a short message she wrote as part of her speech in which she thanked her family and everyone who supported her:
“To the people in Newport News, Virginia who have lost someone important to them. I’m thankful to know that I was able to help someone through this. I want to thank all of the people who were involved in my pageantry for making it all possible — it really meant a lot to me. Thank you for all that you have done for me. I’m still in China, and I want to be able to thank everyone in person at some point.”
This photo came later on Twitter:
Rather then giving the yearbook photo to her aunt, Rosati gave it away in front of the burning house. But instead of leaving the house, she put the photo to a family that lost one of their own.
Liam Ward was a firefighter with the Newport News Fire Department. His wife, Sheri, has been notified that Liam is among the four firefighters who perished in the fire. A few days later, Ward posted a photo to Twitter showing the sign he had hung at his window at work: