PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – About 70 residents of Port Chester, Rye and Greenwich attended a candlelight vigil Wednesday, June 25 to honor the nine victims of the recent massacre in Charleston, S.C.
The vigil was initiated by the Port Chester/Rye Branch of NAACP when branch president Joan Grangenois-Thomas reached out to several local clergy, according to a press release.
The program included a welcome by Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla and reflections offered by the Rev. Natalie Wimberly of St. Frances AME Zion Church, Pastor Jim O’Hanlon of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Father Hilario Albert of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Rabbi Jaymee Alpert of Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel and Father John Cosgrove of Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church.
The invocation was delivered by the Rev. Bruce Baker of All Souls Presbyterian Church and the benediction was delivered by Rabbi Daniel Gropper of Community Synagogue in Rye.
“It was what we (those who helped organize it) had hoped for. Many people expressed gratitude that they had an outlet through which they could express their grief and felt a warm sense of community,” Grangenois-Thoma said in a press release.
In a Facebook post, Grangenois-Thomas thanked all those who attended saying: "It was truly the work of a 'village' of clergy with community leaders that made it all possible. It was also heart-warming to see so many from different walks of life, backgrounds and ethnicities come together in love and harmony to honor the nine victims of last week's shooting. Young, old, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, together to show we can overcome the hate if we really try."