Traverse City Group Remembers Vegas Shooting Victims In Candlelight
Back home in Northern Michigan, the marks left by the violence in Las Vegas can still be felt throughout every community.
In Traverse City, a group of people joined hands in candlelight to remember those killed.
“We felt that we needed to do something,” says Meredith Fritz, volunteer for the local chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We needed to be able to find a space, a place for people to gather to unite.”
“We gather because many heads are better than one.”
There were heavy hearts in place of the usual cheer in Traverse City’s Open Space on Friday evening.
Each person stood strong in solidarity.
“There were lived that were lost here that can’t be made up anymore,” Fritz says. “There were parents that lost their children. Children may have lost a parent. People in the community who are no longer going to be around. It impacts every single state.”
The local chapter of Moms Demand Action teamed up with Up North Pride.
At one point, they read off the names of the 58 killed and how they died.
“He was shot while trying to protect his wife,” Fritz read aloud. “He died in the hospital.”
“He was shot in the chest and killed in the one place in the world that he should have felt most safe,” said Matt Morgan, who attended the vigil and spoke of a Marine who was among the victims.
“I have a friend that I went to school with who was at the concert,” says Stacey Feeley, part of Moms Demand Action. “She, fortunately, was able to get out.”
Stacey Feeley spoke of her friend, who somehow escaped the chaos with her life…
Her thoughts were with the children, who may forever be impacted.
“It’s a big deal and its changing the way our culture is,” Feeley says. “It’s changing the way our kids will grow up.”
Others quickly joined, including Peter and Janice Chambers, who were just passing by.
“Janice and I were just out enjoying the weather,” Peter says. “I hope something happens that we start on a path toward fixing whatever happened. We’re coming together to talk about it, at least.”
Each prayed together, choosing to remember the horror that captivated the nation or risk repeating it.
“It kind of gives me hope that maybe things can change,” Chambers says. “Maybe. Maybe. With grassroots here, it can.”