Vigil in Salem, NJ for Conn. shooting victims

December 17, 2012 7:59:19 PM PST
Upon learning that the mother of the Choir teacher at Salem High School had been killed in the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, the people of Salem gathered to honor the heroes and remember the victims.

"We come together to let Newtown know that your pain is our pain, your sorrow is our sorrow," said Evangelist Roxzanne Forman of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

"And may they know as they weep, God, that we are weeping with them," said Pastor Cheryl Hill-Herder of the Reborn Church.

Minister Forman says it was actually the kids who wanted to do something, so they organized the event through social media.

"We are one nation under God and so we're family," she said. "When one grieves, all grieve. We just wanted Newtown to know that we share their grief at this time."

Children read from letters they have written for the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary and their families.

"My prayers and thoughts are with you at this hard time," wrote Anthony Streeter. "Take peace to know that God is with you through this."

"I feel your sorrow knowing that these children had their whole lives ahead of them," wrote Emmanuel Streeter.

"I'm sorry for all the losses, and it's just not fair that they didn't get to live their life. It's not fair," wrote Noah McNiss.

Salem Mayor Robert Davis says the letters will be delivered to Newtown later this week.

"I mean it's a hurting thing," he said. "I know with myself, I've been praying and crying and everybody I talked to, they're praying. They don't want this to happen again, this was just an awful thing that happened."

As they read the names of all of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary, children carrying balloons walked up on stage. After the names of the 20 children and six adults were read, they let the balloons fly off into the night sky.

It was a small token, a symbolic gesture from the community members of Salem, New Jersey, who just wanted to express their thoughts and their well wishes to the victims and their families.

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