Central New Yorkers hold vigil for Las Vegas shooting victims

Oct 4, 2017

A handful of central New Yorkers joined hands Tuesday night in a vigil, to look for healing in the wake of Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

There’s a little-known spot off of Onondaga Lake Park’s Western Trail where the grass has been cleared, and a pair of benches mark a place called the Peacemaker’s Sanctuary. With lake waters lapping along the shoreline, people like Tim Hart of Central Square Tuesday night called not for action following violence, but peace.

“To send out love and light so that there isn’t a millionaire that go shooting up people with automatic weapons,” said Hart. “How insane that person came to that point? He needs love.”

Tessa Ithier-Hahn (left) and her daughter Kiana hold candles during a vigil Tuesday remembering the victims of Sunday's shootings in Las Vegas
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Tessa Ithier-Hahn and her 12-year-old daughter Kiana brought candles to with a special message.

“It’s the light of hope. It’s a hope that maybe, just maybe, we can unite somehow, someway again and stay united and strong,” said Ithier-Hahn.

Itheier-Hahn worries about the effects of the shootings like this on children, but says it’s especially important for children to see a hope for the future.

“We’ve got to start teaching our children now unity,” she said. “Because it’s starting to fade and it’s sad. And this joining of Christians, Orthodox whatever, it’s important for her to see and to witness, in my eyes.”

Ithier-Hahn said was encouraged by the ecumenical gathering that was punctuated with Christian song, and prayer in the Sikh tradition.

Central New York Sikh leader Ralph Singh believes when tragic events like this happen, it calls us to look within ourselves.

“If out of events like this, we are not able to learn and find both forgiveness and hope, then the cycle will repeat, and that darkness will only grow,” said Singh.