Vigil Held Locally for Conn. Shooting
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - People across America have come together, called a loved one, said a prayer for the victims of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Friday.
Locally, the community is standing together to send a message of strength and hope across the country.
Strong hands and stifled tears were not just felt in one Grand Junction church Friday night -- they resonated with every parent in America.
"We're one nation and when part of the nation suffers, we all suffer, I believe," said John Cooper, one of the organizers of Friday's vigil.
"We actually lost a child. I can sympathize and empathize with what's going on," explained Grand Junction resident and father Jerimi Gadberry.
At the Church of Christ at 2893 F Rd., residents gathered to offer some hope to those feeling vulnerable after reports that 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"Very beautiful place, very tranquil. [I] went fishing on the river there. 'Sandy Hook' is a rough reference to the bend in the river," Cooper recalled.
"You go to school thinking you're going to be safe. And stuff like this happens and you're just scared to go," added Kelsay Heath, a high school freshman.
The massacre has many parents wondering about their own child's safety locally. Grand Junction law enforcement released a statement on Friday ensuring that they're doing everything they can to keep children safe. A representative from the GJPD also said that added security in the coming days would be a top priority for police.
While more questions than answers remain, local residents have a message for Conn. parents.
"I just hope that all those families going through this keep their faith and know that even though they're going through a tragic time, those kids are in a better spot than we are," said Gadberry.
The sentiment offers a ray of hope among the day's darkness.