Community members remember victims of gun violence
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Folks in the community came out tonight to remember victims of gun violence at Bailey Theatre Park in downtown Wilmington.
The vigil included prayers for victims and families affected by gun violence.
The event was organized by Wilmington Faiths Against Gun Violence which includes more than fifteen faith communities and organizations in the Wilmington area.
In a printed program for tonight’s event the group said they include both gun owners and gun control advocates who are seeking a middle ground from which everyone can work together.
The timing of tonight’s vigil was significant as December 14 is the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that happened in 2012.
In a news release Don Arabian, a member of Wilmington Faiths Against Gun Violence, said, “Some 30,000 Americans die every year of gun shot wounds.”
Reverend Catherine Powell, from Church of the Servant, said at the prayer vigil, “This has been an event built on bringing together a lot of groups of people.”
“We had a wide range of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and we just don’t get together enough,” Powell said. “So the fact that we are all standing here together and supporting each other is huge. And secondly, not only does it offer some solace to our own hearts, we hope that it lets our community know how deeply we feel about this issue.”
Reverend Clifford Barnett, from Warner Temple AME Zion Church, said, “It’s not something that’s in a socio-economic problem. It’s everybody’s problem. And it’s important that we as a community stand up and show that we care for one another.”
“I appreciate the folks who came out, but it doesn’t end here,” Barnett said. “That’s the neat thing. That’s why we ended with the prayer ‘We Pray for the Next Victim,’ because the next victim is just right around the corner. And we pray that we will all together work to solve the gun violence in our country.”
“The next step is not an event, but the next step is going to be what can we build on from here. And where can we take this as a community to begin to work on violence in our community,” Arabian said at the event.