For the second time in less than a week, the Carlisle community gathered to mourn victims of gun violence.
On Sunday, residents gathered in front of Hope Station near the Haines Stackfield American Legion on West Penn Street, where Daniel Harris, 30, was shot multiple times and killed in what police called a “brazen” act of violence.
Wednesday saw nearly 200 people gather before the old Cumberland County courthouse on Hanover Street for a candlelight vigil to mourn those killed in the weekend's mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando, and to stand in solidarity with the survivors.
“It’s been difficult to put all the thoughts and emotions of the past couple days in words,” said community and event organizer Christina Kapp. “At this candlelight vigil we remember it’s not just for Orlando, but it’s for us too. We are a small town, but we are a small town with a collectively big heart.”
Kapp, who organized the vigil, feels a personal connection to those involved in the Orlando massacre after she recently came out as lesbian publicly on her blog: Voyagersheart.wordpress.com.
Kapp, Carlisle Mayor Tim Scott, Rev. Aija Simpson of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley, and Rev. Miller Hoffman of the Carlisle YWCA spoke during the vigil.
You have free articles remaining.
“We now know that this was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. We pray for the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the city of Orlando and the LGBT community,” Scott said. “Despite this latest mass shooting and fear, terror and intimidation that goes along with it, we know that we are stronger when we stand together, and that’s what we are here to do tonight.”
Many residents brought homemade signs with them with messages calling for an end to gun violence, peace for all, and support for Orlando and those killed, as well as those survivors. Marge Moyer and her granddaughter Olivia Masgalas stood facing the street and the cars passing with their signs throughout the vigil.
White candles were passed around and lit as Hoffman read each of the 49 names of the victims. Some residents cried, others just bowed their heads, sometimes shaking them in what seemed disbelief at such a massive attack on the LGBTQ community.
Kathleen Madeyski was emotional during the vigil, and couldn’t help shed tears as she discussed her reason for being at The Square Wednesday night.
“I have many dear, dear friends that are part of the LGBTQ community,” she said. “I’m here in support of them.”