Vigil at Grace and Stephen’s Episcopal Church after Texas shooting

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COLORADO SPRINGS — The tragic events of this year’s school shootings touched many people here in Colorado Springs, so Thursday night’s vigil focused on bringing people together.

“I think it’s a great way to process feelings. A creative way,” said Colorado Springs counselor Heidi Cooper.

Organizers said they wanted a place where people could share their thoughts and feelings.

“We wanted to provide a place where people can think and react. We must be together. We need people to not feel alone or helpless,” said Southern Colorado Moms Demand Action volunteer Julie Carr.

The vigil provided participants with unique ways to deal with the emotions of filming. 1 credit

This safe space was the motivation behind the vigil, as well as the Texas school shooting earlier this week.

“We felt like our country was reeling again, almost continuously, from the instances of gun violence,” Carr said.

Even though the participants don’t live in Texas, the shooting still hit close to home.

“When I celebrated the graduation of the students at our school, I felt that contrast of those who couldn’t go through that,” Cooper said.

Many people have experienced feelings of fear and grief following these recent shootings. 1 credit

The vigil gave those in attendance unique ways to express their emotions, turning a tool of destruction into a tool of growth.

“Our country is in desperate need of transformation and so the metaphor of hammering a gun into a garden tool serves as a point of reference,” Carr said.

Attendees could also sit around the fountain and quietly reflect with others.

“Some of us have strong feelings and go to rallies and stuff. This is different. It’s us who come together as a community and there’s such diverse representation here,” Cooper said.

And basically, Carr said she wanted this space to provide hope.

“I hear so many people say, ‘I gave up. There’s no way, nothing’s going to change,'” she said. “I don’t believe it. I believe people can go forward and that together we can make a difference.

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