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Hartland Mourns Newtown Shootings With Vigil

Residents came together to mourn and prayer for the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary on Wednesday night.

On a quiet December evening, approximately 75 Hartland residents came together on the lawn of the Cromaine District Library to mourn the loss of the innocent lives lost during the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.

"I just want to say to you, thank you for showing heart," Terry Prisk, pastor of The River Church said to the crowd on Wedesday. "It's good sometimes to just pause and say, what are we doing in this life?"

Performing during the vigil were Mary Jo Bell, Walter Johnston and Trey McLaughlin. Event organizers, Jenifer Thomas, Amy O'Dea and John Miller read the names of the 26 victims to the somber audience and then led them in a version of Silent Night.

"In the middle of this, there is a message of hope," Kelly Runion, pastor of 2/42 Community Church said.

Calling the acts of Sandy Hook "pure evil" Runion addressed the crowd, saying that love will always win.

"Where the message of hope comes in the middle of all that evil is that it doesn't win," he said. "Evil ultimately loses."

Sparty Pants December 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
The vigil was a beautiful gesture. I was, however, disappointed in the religious/political agenda being pushed. The victims were from diverse religious backgrounds and I wish that would have been more respected. The speaker's comments on not having God in schools were offensive. God was there, in the teachers, Principal and staff that thrust themselves in front of bullets to protect children, as well as in the hearts of teachers across this country that feed, clothe, educate and care for students daily in public schools across America. I was there to honor the victims, not reinforce or further my own- or anyone's personal religious beliefs. Again, I think it was a beautiful gesture, but the diversity of the victims should have been respected.
Paula December 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Sparty... your comments are the perfect example of when people say- some things are just better left unsaid.
Susan B. December 20, 2012 at 04:26 PM
All I can say is.....There is always one in every crowd. Please don't negate what our group was trying to do. This was organized by mother's in our community with a deep compassion for the tragedy that occurred. There was not a religious or politically driven agenda, simply our way to help our community try and grieve and show that we care. That is all. Sometimes human compassion just trumps all of our independent opinions and they should just be kept to ourselves and not thrust on anyone else.
eddy December 20, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Sparty you are so right!The thought of showing support was for the victims and their family.I have always had a problem trying to put my feelings into words,they are in my heart but can't express them.My thoughts are with the victims and their family.
Peace December 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I agree, Sparty. Beautiful gesture but the religious and political agenda being pushed is nauseating. For those of you who think the speaker was right and that we should have religion in schools, remember this - in the UK there is Christian instruction in public schools through daily prayer, religious ed and assemblies. None of that stopped 17 being slaughtered at an elementary school in Dunblane in 1996. What has prevented sickening tragedies like that from happening again in the UK is effective gun control/bans. Here in the US however, there have been 31 school shootings since Columbine. Prayer never has, and will never in the future, stop these horrific massacres. This isn't about religion or politics. It's about doing the right thing.
Cindie DeWolf December 20, 2012 at 09:36 PM
What we teach our kids, and I think we can all use a reminder about when we get to be adults who know everything :) THINK T= is it True? H= is it Helpful? I= is it Inspiring? N= is it Necessary? K= is it Kind? Before you Facebook, Text, Tweet or Comment...Think
Kathleen December 21, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Sparty Pants...I heard that same comment from a guest on Nancy Grace the other day...how original..If you felt your religious views were not represented then next time make sure you get involved YOURSELF and invite your "church". Its funny how people who do nothing to get involved are the most offended. I'm sorry but I find your comment MOST offensive. I didn't go last night but heard it was wonderful, so thank you to all who took the time to do this for our community.
Kim December 21, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Think it is funny how people speak thier minds under a "penned" name. Maybe it is because they are ashamed? Sorry I did not make it wish I could have been there my kids really wanted to go.
Tatum Ryan (Editor) December 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Good Morning to you all! Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I appreciate everyone expressing their opinions on Patch since this is your community forum. And I appreciate the thoughtful comments by everyone who posted. I am going to jump in here, for just a quick moment, and make a small plea though ... let's not go any further with this ... especially today. Today, let's focus on the victims, their families and sending our purest thoughts of hope, healing and love to everyone involved. Again, thank you for sharing and expressing your valid opinions.

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