|Bach Elementary Choir sings at vigil. Photo Purple Walrus Press.|
By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.
The Washtenaw County chapter of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America hosted a vigil, remembrance and march through downtown Ann Arbor in honor of the victims of Sandy Hook school shooting that occurred five years ago in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary in the village of Sandy Hook.
On December 14, 2012, 20 children, all of them first graders between the ages of 6 and 7, were killed in their classroom in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary. The lone gunman shot his way into the school at 9:30 am that morning. December 15, 2012, one day after the horrific shooting, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America was founded. There are now chapters across the country, including here in Washtenaw County.
Roughly 65 people attended and participated in Thursday's Vigil & Remembrance which was held at the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor located at 608 E. William St in downtown Ann Arbor. Several speakers addressed the attendees, including State Representative Donna Lasinski, Dr. Omkar Karthikeyan, and 1988 Hubbard school shooting survivor April Ryan. The vigil opened with music performed by the Ann Arbor Bach Elementary Student Choir. Opening remarks were made by Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America chapter lead Theresa Reid. State Representative Yousef Rabhi was also in attendance at the remembrance/vigil.
According to event organizers, over 200 similar events were being hosted across the nation Thursday night in effort to remember and honor those killed at Sandy Hook and all victims of gun violence in the United States.
At Thursday night's remembrance speaker and State Representative Donna Lasinski spoke emotionally about learning of the horrific shooting in Newtown on December 14, 2012, as she sat in her car in a parking lot in town, stating that she began weeping immediately. Lasinski also talked about how bolstered and inspired she felt after witnessing local moms in the Ann Arbor community coming together and organizing a march the day after the tragic massacre in Newtown.
Last to speak at the vigil was school shooting survivor April Ryan. Ryan survived the 1988 Hubbard Woods school shooting which occurred in a Winnetka, Illinois elementary school. Ryan emotionally recounted details of the school shooting event that she managed to survive on May 20, 1988.
Following the vigil/remembrance, participants, many carrying signs bearing the names of children victims at Sandy Hook Elementary, marched through the streets of Ann Arbor in freezing temperatures holding candles in remembrance of Newtown shooting victims and victims of gun violence everywhere in the United States.
Photos Purple Walrus Press.
|State Representative Donna Lasinski.|
|Pediatrician Dr. Omkar Karthikeyan.|
|School shooting survivor April Ryan.|
|Vigil participants read names of all the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary.|