PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Civic and faith leaders in the village invite the residents of Port Chester and the surrounding area to a candlelight vigil Wednesday, June 24 at 8 p.m. in the Lyon Park gazebo for a candlelight vigil to honor the nine killed in the Charleston, South Carolina shooting at Emanuel AME Church.
The vigil is also to show support for the families impacted, the greater Charleston community and the country. Attendees are asked to bring their own candles and lighter.
Joan Grangenois-Thomas, president of the Port Chester/Rye Branch of NAACP, initiated the effort by reaching out to several clergy. She received immediate responses from Rev. Natalie Wimberly, pastor of St. Frances AME Zion Church; Pastor Jim O’Hanlon, of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church; Rabbi Jaymee Alpert of Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel; and Rev. Bruce Baker, pastor of All Souls Presbyterian Church.
“It was quite inspiring to see so many take up the call so quickly,” said Grangenois-Thomas. “Pastor Jim created a Facebook event page and the word is beginning to spread.”
The event will begin at 8 p.m. and will include some spoken remarks from faith leaders, Grangenois- Thomas and Mayor Dennis Pilla. At approximately 8:35 p.m., there will be nine minutes of silence to honor the nine victims. The group also hopes that those who are unable to attend will stop what they are doing wherever they may be at 8:35 p.m. to take a moment of silence as well.