Schenectady prayer vigil held for victims of recent mass shootings

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS 10)—On Friday, people of all faiths gathered on the front steps of Schenectady City Hall, to pray for those who lost their lives in the 3 most recent mass shootings in California, Texas, and Ohio.

It was a somber gathering, as religious leaders, local politicians, and Capital Region residents came together in song. Many were holding candles, saying prayers, and reflecting on the 34 lives lost in those 3 separate tragedies.

“We also want to stand in mourning and in grief with the families,” explained Bill Levering, Senior Pastor of 1st Reformed Church in Schenectady. “And as people of faith, we understand loss and stand with people in loss.”

“They may not see it, they may not feel it, but at least we are doing our due diligence and praying for those people. Trying to lift them up and give them as much positive energy as we possibly can,” said Omar Sterling McGill, who lives in Schenectady.

While these mass tragedies took place in different parts of the county, community leaders in Schenectady said, it is important to come together as one.


“We have to show our solidarity to these people, you know? We are all human beings. I don’t care what color you are. This is a tragedy,” said Marva Isaacs, President of the Hamilton Hill Association.

A majority of people at the vigil were in favor of more gun control legislation. Congressman Paul Tonko urged his colleagues in Washington, specifically those in the Senate to take action. He said common sense legislation is absolutely essential to help prevent future mass shootings from happening.

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