In Davidson Saturday night, about 125 people - families, school leaders and public officials - gathered at Davidson Elementary School for a 20-minute vigil to remember those who lost their lives in Friday's school shootings in Connecticut. It was one of a variety of events around the region and around the nation in the wake of the shootings, from prayers at church services to candlelight vigils.
Local clergy led the Davidson vigil, which included a moment of silence and readings from a couple of local students. The event ended with a reading of the names of the dead, each followed by the peal of a handbell.
The shootings have hit home everywhere, including small towns with the same sense of community as Newtown. We’re moved because we wonder if the same could happen in our schools and neighborhoods. The Reverend Lib McGregor Simmons of Davidson College Presbyterian Church said we “stand together and hold on to one another” at times like this, relying on our connections for support and hope.
Jody Seymour, the pastor at Davidson United Methodist Church, tried to comfort the gathering: “We believe, we must believe that in the midst of this horror, that god will take those children’s lives whom he gave to us and he will complete those lives,” he said.
Davidson Elementary principal Dana Jarrett said after the vigil that the shootings won’t come up when school resumes Monday. He said it’s up to parents to discuss the tragedy with their kids, and it’ll be business as usual n the classroom.
On Friday, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools issued a statement saying that local police and schools work closely to ensure security, and all schools have crisis plans and evacuation maps.
The Rev. Simmons of Davidson College Presbyterian Church said we must continue to reflect on what happened in Connecticut. She said the tragedy makes it clear the nation has work to do.
“We’ve got to look at lots of different issues, that have to do with … gun control all the way to mental illness and all of that in the days ahead. .. But these problems won’t solve themselves. We have to be neighbors to each other and solve them for each other,” she said.
See a story and photos from Saturday's Davidson vigil from our news partner, DavidsonNews.net, "Grieving together over a far-away tragedy that hits home"
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools offers parents "A guide on coping with a national crisis"