Each item held special meeting, students said, like the bags of Goldfish, the snack cracker Heurich and her friends often ate in Spanish class.
"We have to take a lesson from Charas and live our lives to the fullest like she did, because they can be snuffed out just as easily as one of these candles," said Dave Honigs, 17.
Honigs said he was not among Heurich's closest friends, but he warmly recalled that she was the first student to welcome him when he moved into the school district several years ago.
As they spoke, many of the students' muffled sobs became full-fledged tears. They turned to prayer to try to make sense of the senseless.
Bucky Howe, 19, a Hagerstown Junior College student who graduated from Smithsburg, suggested Heurich is in heaven.
"She's having it better than any of us today," he said.
Nick Stevens said perhaps the tragedy would bring people together who were not close before.
"We all love and miss Charas a lot. There will be something positive to come out of this," he said.
Classmate Melanie Clark, 17, lamented that Heurich had to pay the ultimate price.
"It shouldn't take something like this to bring us all together," she said.
During the evening, the students swapped stories about their friend, reminiscing about old boyfriends, silly fights - the little snippets of life that take on so much more meaning after such a tragedy.
Sara Hetzell, 17, recalled a time she and Heurich tried to take down a Christmas tree in Heurich's house. After failing to wriggle it through the door, she said they turned to more innovative means.
"We got a saw out of the basement and we chopped the tree down. There were pine needles all over the floor," she said. "It took us all afternoon to clean it up."
Scott Ancarrow, 17, said he had known Heurich since they were in preschool - at age 3.
"She was the first girl I ever had a crush on," he said.
The students said they plan to hand out ribbons this morning in school. The ribbons of hunter green - her favorite color - are meant as one more remembrance, they said.