2016 story: Christiansen remembered after one year with balloon release
Editor's note: Two boys killed in a crash July 14, 2018 were the sons of Marya Christiansen, who died in 2016 when her car entered the Mississippi River near Hager City.
Despite cold weather and heavy snow fall, friends and family gathered and held each other close on Sunday in remembrances of Marya Christansen.
The balloon release ceremony included loved ones of all ages who let the strings go after a countdown, shouting, "We love you Marya."
Cars on the highway honked as they passed by and watched the orange and green balloons float into the sky. While the weather conditions may not have been ideal for everyone to make it to the event, over 25 people attended to honor Christiansen and show their support.
"Anything for her," Steve Christiansen, Marya's father said.
After releasing the balloons, loved ones who brought flowers picked petals off, dropping them into the Mississippi River.
March 12 marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Christiansen. The mother of two was last seen at 2:30 a.m. after spending time in Red Wing with friends. Her body was recovered off Highway 63 near Lloyd Spriggle Bridge, where her memorial site is located today. Close friends and family members make the effort to get together to remember Christiansen on her birthday and Mother's Day every year, too.