SUMMIT, NJ - On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, congregations in the Summit community will partner to hold a candlelight vigil calling for gun violence prevention. The public event will be held December 13, beginning at 6 p.m., at Congregation Ohr Shalom in Summit.
The vigil commemorates the lives lost on December 14, 2012, when a gunman fatally shot 20 children and six adults at the school in Newtown, CT, as well as the 33,000 other Americans who lose their lives every year to gun violence. The Newtown shootings prompted calls for stricter gun regulation and, while some steps have been taken at the state and local level, the vigil seeks to stimulate greater and renewed awareness, attention and action related to the cause.
Speakers will include Elaine Lane, founder of 'David’s Shoes', a nonprofit group dedicated to helping teens and children honor life. The organization collects and exhibits thousands of pairs of shoes, representing the shooting deaths of American children and teens. Lane’s 18-year-old son, David Lane II, was shot and killed in 1998 in Virginia.
Also speaking will be Carole Stiller, president of the New Jersey Chapters of the Million Mom March / Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Stiller will suggest specific actions citizens can take to reduce gun violence.
As part of the event, singer-songwriter Meg Berry's will perform of “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan. Berry has topped the charts on college radio and on Billboard Magazine’s Adult Album Alternative (AAA) list and recently headlined a stage for the CBGB Music & Film Festival in New York City. Jazz pianist Brian Halpin will accompany her.
After lighting candles, participants will be invited to make phone calls to legislators, urging support for measures to support gun violence prevention.
Vigil sponsors are Congregation Ohr Shalom, the Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Beacon UU) in Summit, the Union County chapter of Moms Demand Action and the NJ Million Mom March / Brady Campaign Chapters.
For further information, contact Reverend Robin Tanner, Beacon UU’s minister of worship and outreach, at 908-273-3245, ext. 106.
Congregation Ohr Shalom is located at 67 Kent Place Boulevard. Parking is available in the Temple's parking lot and on Kent Place Boulevard.