Community Life

Fanwood Vigil for Las Vegas Victims Brings Together Civic Leaders, Clergy and Residents

Nearly 100 local residents attended a candlelight vigil on Friday night for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Credits: John Mooney
Mayor Colleen Mahr Credits: John Mooney
Reverend Susanna Cates, Colleen Gialanella, Venerable Klint Kaevalin, Fanwood Council members Kevin Boris, Kathy Mitchell, Mayor Colleen Mahr and Tom Plante Credits: John Mooney
Fanwood Councilwoman Kathy Mitchell lights a candle. Credits: John Mooney
Venerable Klint led a meditation session. His Dhammakaya Meditation Center's belief is that "If we can have Inner Peace, then we can have world peace." Credits: John Mooney
The Rev. David Janke of Fanwood Presbyterian Church Credits: John Mooney
Monks from the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center in Fanwood Credits: John Mooney
Reverend Susanna Cates of All Saints Episcopal Church and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr Credits: John Mooney
The Rev. Cynthia Cochran-Carney of Willow Grove Presbyterian Church Credits: John Mooney
David Janke, pastor of Fanwood Presbyterian Church, and his son, Seth, played music Credits: John Mooney
Former Scotch Plains Deputy Mayor Colleen Gialanella and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr pay their respects to the Las Vegas victims. Credits: John Mooney
Fanwood Council candidate Anthony "Coach" Carter Credits: John Mooney
Tom Plante read a poem by Fanwood's Poet Loreate Adele Kenny Credits: John Mooney
Members of Moms Demand Action attended the vigil. Credits: John Mooney
Participants in Friday night's candlelight vigil. Credits: John Mooney
Hashim Garrett and his son, Zen, came from South Orange to attend the vigil. Credits: John Mooney

FANWOOD, NEW JERSEY -- Led by Mayor Colleen Mahr, Fanwood hosted a candlelight vigil at the Dhammakaya Temple's meditation garden in honor of the victims of the Las Vegas massacre. The borough was among several municipalities in Union County to host vigils remembering the 58 people killed by gunfire at a country music concert near the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

"I'm brought to tears by the deaths of people I didn't even know. Lives cut too short. I've cried so many times this week, particularly when I heard about a single mother of three boys," an emotional Mayor Mahr told the crowd. "I'm the mother of three boys. I'm hurting. All of us are hurting."

The mayor was joined by members of the Fanwood Borough Council, several members of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ministerium and Moms Demand Action, and nearly 100 local residents who felt compelled to express their sorrow and outrage over the deaths. First responders from the Fanwood and Scotch Plains police and fire departments and rescue squads were on hand to show their support.

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I want a world where this (mass shootings) is not normal. We must call our leaders and demand action. We should not be here doing this tonight. -- Mayor Colleen Mahr

The ceremony included prayers, poems and songs, along with the reading of names of all the people who were killed this week in the country's worst ever mass shooting.

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