State College, Pa- Monday evening, members from community organizations like Standing at the Gates for Justice and Mom’s Demand Action spoke for a crowd of over 50 ranging from elementary students to senior members of the community.
Candles were lit as a reminder of the warmth and kindness attendees said locals should show each other… which they say also symbolized a flame of hope towards peace will never be extinguished.
While many looked towards the future with optimism, some say it will be a long time till the community heals.
“I don’t think the wounds are healed. I think a tragedy like this makes us all raw…. it irritates us and it should. There’s no reason to be turning to violence and yet it continues to occur. Not just here, but all across our country. I think it shows that it should call us to change… to stake stock in why we believe what we believe,” said Pastor Ben Wideman, the Campus Pastor for 3rd Way Collective.
There was a moment of silence for each of the 4 who lost their lives in the shooting that took place Thursday evening. There was also silence and prayer for 21- year old Nicole Abrino who is currently in a Pittsburgh hospital… looking to recover after 2 surgeries.