Jacksonville Beach community hosts candlelight vigil for Sandy Hook victims
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla--- The Ocean Cay community is joining the rest of the country in mourning after a week of funerals for Sandy Hook victims.
"As we planned our community holiday party I found it somewhat uneasy to fully appreciate the joy of the holiday season when knowing that families to the north of us were burying their children and loved ones," says Michael Loiacono, Ocean Cay HOA Board Member.
An annual celebration for the Ocean Cay Homeowners Association took a moment of silence. Their holiday party stopped at 7 p.m. when lights turned off and candles were lit.
The 26 victims' names of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting on December 14th were read out loud - twenty of them by children and six of them by adults.
"It's sad because I know they are not with their parents anymore, but it's good because there is God in Heaven," said Morgan Legare, 11, who read one of the victim's names.
Ronny Legare is in seventh grade and got to read two of children's names. He says it was a meaningful experience.
"I think its important to recognize the children that were in this horrible incident and give Glory to God for being in heaven with them," said Ronny Legare.
Members of Jacksonville's Hurting Families with Children and Crime organization heard about the event and came out to support these residents. They are planning on traveling to Connecticut next week to help the families affected and show that Jacksonville cares.
"I would say a whole lot of support is coming out of Jacksonville, a whole lot of support is coming from a lot of different places I just believe because of the crime and especially they were children," said Linda Dayson of Hurting Families with Children and Crime, Inc
Last week the nation watched as many of the victims, children six and seven years old were laid to rest. This vigil was meant to show that Jacksonville is also grieving.
"It's kind of something that's happening too often. Too many schools are having this kind of tragedy and so maybe our standing up and staying that that should never happen again is a critical thing and that's how we feel," says Howard Gardner, President of Ocean Cay Homeowner's Association.
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First Coast News