Vigil brings people together to pay respects for victims of shooting

Vigil brings people together to pay respects for victims of shooting

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Unitarian Universalist Church in Midland was packed on Thursday night for the vigil held for the 49 dead and 53 injured in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando early Sunday morning. Many were still affected by the shooting, but came together to show hate might be strong but love is stronger.

Emily Wright-Magoon, Reverend at Unitarian Universalist said, "We wanted to create  a space where people of all different kinds could come together to grieve, mourn, hope and pray as one people."

Reverend Magoon said they held the vigil later in the week after discussing it with community members. Chief of the Midland Police Department Price Robinson said a few words about how his department is here to protect everyone. Other speakers found the vigil as a way to tell their story.
Dennis Bjoraard, a speaker said, "Being in front of the LGBTQ community today was important to me. It gave me an outlet and allowed me to unleash the burden that's been weighing on me for so long."

Other ministers from local churches also spoke. Poems were read and songs were sung. Candles were lit to cap off the vigil and as many in attendance prayed for the victims, they also talked about the hope of one day seeing a difference in the future.

Bob Kizer, a Unitarian Universalist member said, "We've got to do a better job of caring for each other. We've got to do a better job of leading each other. Not just as citizens, not just as caring human beings, but as people who are responsible for the rest of this world that we're handing off  for generations to come."

Pictures of the 49 victims were shown in a slide show and there will be more remembrances throughout the Permian Basin over the weekend.

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