The Miss USA organization is keeping Cheslie Kryst’s legacy alive eight months after her suicide. According to Insider, on Monday (Oct. 3) the annual pageant took a moment to honor the 2019 winner with a speech and a moment of silence.
“If you’re lucky in life, you get the chance to know someone who lights up a room, makes every moment seem better, and makes you feel important with a simple gesture or a word,” FYI correspondent Christian Murphy expressed in a speech about the late-activist’s impact. “That was Cheslie Kryst.”
He added, “Now, I had the privilege to work alongside her, and her accomplishments were literally endless. Cheslie was crowned Miss USA 2019. And in the words of her family, she embodied love, and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA, and as a host on Extra. Most importantly as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor, and colleague,” Murphy added.
He concluded with, “We know her influence will live on, and tonight we honor Cheslie. We were lucky to have her if for only what seems like a fleeting moment, and even more blessed that her light lives on.”
A moment of silence followed afterward.
Kryst, a North Carolina-representative, took home the 2019 Miss USA title ahead of using her platform to voice her thoughts on social justice issues and other passions. The young lawyer and TV correspondent died by suicide in January. She was 30.
Her mom, April Simpkins, broke her silence after Kryst’s death as she appeared on Red Table Talk in May. She shared that Kryst actually had a longtime battle with depression, adding that her daughter had attempted suicide once before in her 20s and thought that Krsyt had “began taking all the right steps” to heal herself.
“She truly was my best friend,” Simpkins expressed on the Facebook show. “She was the first person I talked to when I woke up — we would go about our mornings FaceTiming each other. She would be putting on her makeup and I would be getting ready at my desk. To not have that makes mornings awful for me. I don’t know that I will get over the grief, I’m trying to accept that grief and I will do life together.”
Take a look at the sweet message Cheslie Kryst’s mom sent to the 2022 Miss USA participants ahead of the competition below.