Bloomington holds vigil for Las Vegas shooting

‘Tonight we begin to heal together’

On Sunday evening, the Bloomington community came together to remember the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Community leaders, organizations and others prayed and spoke at the event to honor those who were injured and lost during the tragedy.

Allie Wineland, a junior at IU, said that she organized Sunday's vigil to remember the significance of gun violence and to honor those murdered at the Las Vegas Village.

Different Speakers at Sunday evening's vigil helped soothe the shocked community members and their renewed fear of gun violence with prayers and meditations.

The speeches motivated community members to transform their grief and sorrow into a unstoppable force to make chances for a better and safer future.

Rev. Karla Kamstra of the Bridge Spiritual Center

"Tonight, we grieve. Tonight, the outrage stays right on the edge of that grief… In each life lost, we sense the flame of compassion flickering but it isn't extinguished… May we always work for higher good of all of this Earthly creation. So that we could truly say as it is on heaven, may it be so on Earth."

Paige Settles, Policial Affairs Director from IU College Democrats

"But we can take action to make sure this does not happen again. There are democrats and republicans calling for a ban on bump stocks. And even the NRA is supporting additional regulations. But, despite the fact that they support additional regulations, this does not mean that they are support a ban [on bump stocks]. Which is where we have to come in. This is how we can get small monic of justice for the people lost their lives in Vegas. Call, wright, email your representatives and your senators."

Pastor Mark Fenstermacher of First United Methodist Church

"We are not sure, exactly, what the answer is. And its probably many things. But we come this evening to pray for those that were hurt. We pray for those who are devastated. And we would also ask God, as you surround those persons with love and care and support, as you offer the gift of healing. We also would pray, God, that you would move among us and lead us, so that we would learn to be gentle again. That we would learned to be peacemakers again. That we would see past labels and understand, in fact, that we are built together as a community."

Courtney Daily of Bloomington Moms Demand Action

"I could stand up here and point fingers. I could try to get all of you angry as I was this past week. I could tell you the statistics comparing American deaths by gun violence to those of other countries. I could tell you that average of 93 Americans die by gun violence every day… But i won't. I am tired of being angry… Tonight, we begin to heal together. By being here together, we are all seeking peace for ourselves, for our community, and for our world. We are here tonight to honor the victims and the survivors of tragedy in Las Vegas. But we can't do that with rage and anger; but through love. It is through love that we can reach out to each other and make a commitment. We can work together to protect our families and our communities. Our love for our families and communities can motivate us to move mountains. And when we band together for a common goal, starting from love, we can be invincible."

Rabbi Brian Besser of Beth Shalom

Every one at the Vigil left with the notion that there is no one, absolutely correct way to respond to a tragedy where people were murdered, slaughtered. However, they acknowledged that this was the time to channel all of their fear, anger, and outrage toward compassion and effort to build a better future. A new hope was founded.

With such mentality, the audience and the speakers returned back to their lives, carrying new hope to build a better community, a better society.