At 7 p.m. Monday, children and adults alike gathered on the steps of the Kosciusko County Courthouse in Warsaw to honor those who have been lost to the senseless violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., as well as in our own community.
The event, a candlelit peace vigil, was organized by Marena Atkins, a young woman who describes herself as, “a full-time mother and part-time activist.” Atkins, along with Pastor Mike Beezley of Clunette United Methodist Church, kicked off the event with messages of hope, understanding and comfort.
“As an American, I know that unity and peace and hope is what can save us and what can help us … We need healing in this community, in this nation and in this world. The lives that were lost were an excruciating reminder of what is important in life.”
The service continued with songs of peace and healing sung by both Atkins and musician Kenneth Cooke, as well as words of comfort from Pastor Dennis Bollenbacher of New Beginnings Church in Atwood. The event tearfully concluded with the reading of the names of those who perished in the Connecticut shooting as well as a bell ringing for each of the victims.