Groton community gathers for vigil in response to Charlottesville violence

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) – An interfaith service was held on the shoreline on Wednesday night in the wake of a violent weekend in Virginia and the events that followed. The service was held at Groton Congregational Church to try to spur some healing and spread a message of unity.

The service brought together dozens of people of all different backgrounds. They all had something in common: a desire for the violence to stop. People were looking for comfort and hoping for peace.

“It’s something that I feel really passionate about,” said Courtney Dumais-Myers, a parishioner who helped organize the event. “I feel like we just need to come together as a community and really push back against the hate.”

The event started with a prayer service inside the church. The pastor and a rabbi spoke. Their message was about spreading love and ending hate.

“You can feel an energy, there’s something different about what’s happened in the past week,” said Rev. Shawn Fisher, Groton Congregational Church. “I think people have felt and known that there was prejudice, known there was hate, but it’s just come with a megaphone over this past week.”

After the prayer service, a vigil was held in front of the church. People shared what was on their minds and their reactions to what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The group lit candles, their light breaking the darkness. It was a metaphor for what people hope will happen in this country.

“When we come together with compassion and with love in our hearts we can really combat these issues that we’re seeing, racism and intolerance,” said Dumais-Myers.

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