Hundreds Gather at Candlelight Vigil
Oct 30, 2018 09:36PM
● By Jeanne Fratello
A candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting drew hundreds of community members to the Manhattan Beach Pier on Tuesday night.
The vigil, which local community and religious leaders managed to organize within just three days of the shooting, was created with the goal of showing unity as a community and denouncing hate crimes in all forms.
In opening remarks, Mayor Steve Napolitano noted that a similar crowd had gathered just over a year ago following the Las Vegas shootings.
"We came here for the same reasons as a year ago, and that is to say that we are not afraid. We will not give up. We will not be silent," said Napolitano. "Tonight we are all Jews, we are all Catholics, we are all Muslims, we are all religions, and we are all people. Those who wish us harm will never understand that love conquers hate, that understanding conquers ignorance, and that kindness is strength."
Rabbi Yossi Mintz of the Jewish Community Center, a lead organizer of the event, told the crowd that the gathering was not about which political party people supported. "Tonight is about light over darkness, good over evil, and love over hate."
Mintz added, "When you light a small candle in a dark room, you watch the room light up. Let us all be that candle."
Matthew Jensen, associate pastor of community life at Journey of Faith, emphasized a message of unity. "When we model love in the face of darkness, then peace prevails in the face of evil," he said.
Following remarks from community leaders as well as music and songs, the children in the crowd were invited forward to help light eleven candles representing the eleven victims of the Pittsburgh shooting.