CINCINNATI -- In Leelah Alcorn's final hours, she pleaded for people to fix society and make the world a more accepting place.
A small group gathered on the anniversary of Leelah's death Thursday to show that mission isn't forgotten.
"It was heartbreaking on so many levels," Laurie Bertram said.
They place a wreath alongside the highway named in Leelah's memory each year. They also maintain the stretch of Interstate 71 quarterly through the Adopt-A-Highway Litter Program.
"It means a lot, even for people who don't know what it's for," Savannah Riggsby said.
Leelah was 17 when she walked into traffic on I-71, taking her own life. She struggled for acceptance as a transgender person, and in a final message to the world she asked for her death to "mean something."
"We want them to be able to have hope -- and not despair -- and acceptance, that's really what we're looking for," Bertram said.
"It is an open, accepting area, but at the same time we do still have some kind of closed-minded people here," Riggsby said. "So, I just think it'd be nice to know how many people around the world, or in the U.S., that know her story and want to help. I think it would make her happy."