Since Friday December 14th, the citizens of our nation have been experiencing varying levels of sorrow, heartache, frustration and fear. A new headline on a story too common. 28 people are dead following a shooting spree in Newtown, Connecticut—including 20 children under the age of 8, 6 educators, the mother of the assailant and the shooter himself.
This recent tragedy was the reason for Sunday night's vigil held at Monument Square organized by the Racine Interfaith Coalition. About 100 people attended. There was a brisk chill in the air and many tears in the crowd; Sunday's vigil consisted of words of hope, calls for action and prayers for victims.
The Rev. Tony Larsen and Rev. Michael Mueller led the vigil with prayer and song. Various clergy and members of the community were encouraged to speak - and many did.
Sue Hollow from Peace Learning Circles said we need to stop pointing fingers and take a look at what we can do.
"We can all do something," she stated, "Peace begins right here with each of us."
Hollow encouraged the crowd to visit the group's Facebook page to read a recent post which contains many statistics as well as productive suggestions about what we can do as individuals to make a difference each day.
Hollow quoted Frederick Douglass, "It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair a broken man." She added, "And what we have is a whole world of broken men and women."
Racine Mayor John Dickert spoke to the crowd, saying "Let's keep believing in one another and let's push out hatred."
But more moving than his speech were the words spoken by his children.
Eleanor Dickert expressed people all over the world are feeling the sadness, "We all have the same feelings."
"I'm just a kid," Riley Dickert began, "I don't know much about this stuff. But I know this isn't right and we can do something about this."
Riley also added that people should be thinking more about giving than getting this holiday season and he pledged to personally donate most of his gifts to charity.