Vigil for school shooting victims held in Tampa

12:01 AM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- One by one, the names of the victims of the school shooting in Connecticut are read aloud. Some people pray softly, others stand in silence. It is a special night at OakGrove Methodist Church in Tampa, a vigil to remember the young lives lost. For some, the pain is still very fresh.

"It's so sad that these children will never see a full life because of someone like this," said minister Steve Briggs.

The shock of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre moved the people who came here. It's a congregation that prays for people in need in our community, but tonight the focus was clearly on the youngest victims.

Vigil participant Elise Schmeling was moved to tears by the school shooting. She watched in horror as parents raced to the school with fear in their eyes, wondering about the fate of their children -- something she understands very well.

"The kids. The kids, the kids, the kids. That's what I thought about, and what those poor parents will have to deal with this Christmas, and the rest of their lives. It's horrible," Schmeling said.

After a moment of silence, the group of roughly 60 people hugged, broke bread, exchanged holiday gifts, and talked about the future. A future where guns are not accessible to those who have no business with them, echoing the words of President Obama today, who demanded change.

"Allowing people to get their hands on guns to kill or hurt people is wrong, and something needs to be done."

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