Thomasville vigil to honor Connecticut murder victims
Like most Americans, Thomasville mother Ashley Ashley reacted to the news of Friday’s mass killings in Newtown, Conn., with overwhelming grief.
“I cried and cried,” says Ashley, who has a 3-year-old daughter. “It just broke my heart to see so many families destroyed like that. All I could do was cry and pray for those families.”
So when Ashley learned of a grassroots movement to encourage nationwide vigils in memory of the victims, she couldn’t say no. She and two other Thomasville women — Crystal Landreth and Diana Landreth — organized a candlelight vigil to be held Tuesday night at the Big Chair in Thomasville.
“We want people in Connecticut to know our hearts are with them, our prayers are with them, and we feel their pain,” Ashley says. “We want to be there to show our love and support. This gives us a chance to show them that love is out there, and love is the most powerful tool we have.”
In addition to the candle-lighting ceremony, the vigil will include a moment of silence, the reading of a poem, a prayer, and the singing of a couple of songs, including “Silent Night.”
Participants will also be given an opportunity to write messages of love and support on “teardrops” — tear-shaped pieces of paper — that will be sent to the victims’ families.
“We wanted Connecticut to see that the citizens of Thomasville are crying for you — we shed our tears for your loss,” Ashley explains. “You can write a personal message or a prayer, and we’ll send it to the families in Connecticut.”
Photos from the vigil itself will also be sent to the families to let them see what was done to honor the memory of those who were killed.
“We want them to see that there is love in this dark world,” Ashley says. “We want our love to shine brightly for everyone to see.”
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•A candlelight vigil for the shooting victims in Newtown, Conn., will be held Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., at the Big Chair in Thomasville. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly and bring their own candles. The rain date is Wednesday, also at 8:30 p.m.
•A vigil will also be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Wat Lao American Buddhist Center, 1635 Kersey Valley Road.