Vigil

Fayetteville residents led a march on Dickson Street to support victims of the Orlando shooting. After the march, several people spoke, and they had a vigil. 

The Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality organized a vigil for the victims of the Orlando shooting Sunday night on Dickson Street. 

The candlelight vigil started at 8 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, near the corner of College Avenue and Dickson Street, according to its Facebook event page.

"Our hearts are with our brothers and sisters in Orlando," according to the page. "As we prepare to celebrate #NWAPride, this tragic act of terrorism reminds us why we must stand together as a proud LGBT community."

More than 300 people were in attendance, Madison Beeler, St. Michael the Archangel Old Catholic Parish cleric said.

“It was incredible,” Beeler said. “It was standing-room-only inside and people were standing outside the door.”

The crowd was filled with different people from the community, Beeler said.

“There were Christians, Jews, Atheists, gay people, straight people, transgender people,” Beeler said. “There was more than just one set of people there.”

The vigil had different speakers from the community, including a representative from the Islamic community and the Fayetteville mayor, Beeler said.

“The Islamic speaker got to you,” Beller said. “He said, ‘Please do not confuse this with who we are, we are Americans just like you.’”

Members of the church also spoke to the audience.

“I’ve seen a lot as a clergy of a church, and St. Paul’s told the audience that everyone is welcomed,” Beeler said.

The ceremony took place inside St. Paul's and then moved down Dickson street, according to the Facebook page.

After the march, different people from the community spoke.

Alixes Laca was one of the speakers.

“I could tell everyone was in mourning,” Laca said. “But every one who spoke was talking about the same thing; about how much of a tragedy this was. They didn’t see the biggest problem.”

People will stop talking about what happened in a few days, and that is what needs to not happen, Laca said.

“I asked everyone what they were going to do,” Laca said. “People were talking about how everyone is loved, and it’s good to embrace love but we need to take that love and make it into a passion and do something.”

Laca told the crowd how important social media was.

“I found out about this event through Facebook,” Laca said. “People need to keep sharing posts, sharing photos, making statuses. We can’t forget that this happened.”

The key to making progress is to never forget what happened, Laca said.

“Tomorrow these people will still be dead, but we cannot forget June 12,” Laca said.

The Orlando shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, with 50 people killed and 53 injured.

 

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