Can­dles flicker as New­town, Pa., holds their chil­dren close and re­mem­bers those who died in New­town, Conn.

The Advance of Bucks County - - NEWTOWN AREA - By Jeff Werner

NEW­TOWN TOWN­SHIP – In a solemn can­dle­light trib­ute, more than 300 peo­ple turned out in New­town, Pa., Sun­day night to re­mem­ber those who died in New­town, Conn., and to hug their chil­dren a lit­tle tighter.

Dur­ing the vigil, held at the Lutheran Church of dod’s Love, mem­bers of the New­town Min­is­terium and the New­town Mayor Dennis O’Brien, of­fered words of so­lace two days af­ter a 20-year-old gun­man ended the life of 26 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 20 chil­dren, at an ele­men­tary school in Con­necti­cut.

The mass killing sent shock waves through­out the na­tion, hit­ting es­pe­cially close to home in New­town, Pa., which shares the same name.

“This is a day of great sad­ness and grief, but it is not a day of de­feat. How good it is to have each other and to be able to come to­gether and to pray and to of­fer words of com­fort to re­mem­ber those who died in this hor­ri­ble tragedy,” said the Rev. Dr. Peter g. Naschke, pas­tor of the Lutheran Church of dod’s Love.

“But this is not all about us,” he said. “Our prayers and our wishes in our hearts tonight are with our brothers and sis­ters in New­town, Conn., and that in some way, through our gath­er­ing, they will be strength­ened and com­forted as they strug­gle to deal with some­thing which is al­most unimag­in­able.”

Rabbi Anna Boswel-Levy of Tzedek v’Shalom ripped a piece of cloth in the gewish tra­di­tion of mourn­ing and lament.

“Where is the jus­tice here? We can­not say that dod wanted th­ese pre­cious chil­dren back. Not this way and not this soon,” said Boswel-Levy. “This tragedy was not only hor­rLfic, LW wDs wrRnJ. ThHsH wHrH chil­dren in a class­room. They had their whole lives ahead of them. They were not in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were ex­actly where they were sup­posed to be, learn­ing with friends and with teach­ers.

“What hap­pened was so per­versely wrong,” said the Rabbi. “Like a rip in a piece of cloth­ing it tears at the heart of the fab­ric of our so­ci­ety. Th­ese young chil­dren are our jew­els, our prom­ise, our fu­ture. This sim­ply should not have hap­pened. This sick young man should not have been able to carry out his des­per­ate and heinous act.

“Tonight our hearts are hurt­ing. They are bro­ken and they are torn,” said the Rabbi. “AnG , SrDy … WhDW wH wLOO finG MusWLcH IRr WhH adults and the chil­dren that were taken from us. Tonight is the last night of Chanukah, the gewish hol­i­day of light and peace. We are com­mit­ted to make our com­mu­ni­ties and our coun­try safer and brighter for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

MayRr O’BrLHn, whR hHOpHG Rr­ganLzH thH vLgLO wLth thH MLnLstHrLum’s hHOp, tROG thH gath­HrLng that NHwtRwn, CRnn., Ls much thH samH as NHwtRwn, Pa., wLth grHat schRROs anG a “cutH OLt­tOH cRm­munLty.

But hH saLG, “It’s nRt, ‘ThanN gRRGnHss Lt wasn’t us.’ It was us … A OLt­tOH chunN Rf Rur hHarts ErRNH Rff” Rn FrLGay, hH saLG.

“ThH mHs­sagH Rf faLth Ln NHwtRwn, Pa., Ln NHwtRwn, CRnn., anG thrRughRut thH wRrOG, Ln thLs tLmH Rf GarNnHss, Ls that thH OLght shLnHs Ln thH GarNnHss anG thH GarNHnHss has nHvHr RvHr­cRmH Lt anG wLOO nHvHr RvHr­cRmH Lt,” saLG FathHr ErnHst CurtLn, pastRr Rf St. LuNH’s EpLscR­paO Church.

“ChRsH ORvH,” hH saLG. “MaNH ORvH yRur aLm. MaNH ORvH yRur gRaO. MaNH ORvH thH guLGLng prLncL­paO, thH ErLght anG shLnLng star Rf yRur OLfH. NHvHr OHt a Gay gR Ey whHrH yRu GRn’t tHOO yRur chLOGrHn yRu ORvH thHm.”

As thH flLcNHr Rf canGOHOLght Hn­vHORpHG thH sanc­tu­ary, 26 mHmEHrs Rf thH cRm­munLty, EH- gLn­nLng wLth MayRr O’BrLHn, OLt canGOHs, Hach rHprHsHn­tLng RnH Rf thRsH whR GLHG Ln FrLGay’s tragHGy.

PastRr Mary MLOOHr, Rf NHwtRwn UnLtHG MHthRGLst Church, haG RnH Rf thH harGHst tasNs Rf thH nLght, sayLng a prayHr fRr gun­man AGam Lanza.

“RHmLnG us that nRnH Rf us NnRws thH hHart Rf anRthHr, Eut yRu. RHmLnG us that nRnH Rf us Ls Ln thH pRsLtLRn tR juGgH Rr tR cRnGHmn Eut yRu,” prayHG MLOOHr. “RHmLnG us that yRu havH sHt fRr us an Hx­am­pOH, RnH that caOOs us tR fRrgLvH anG tR pray fRr thRsH whR GR us harm HvHn thRugh wH may finG Lt GLf­fi­cuOt tR GR sR.”

As thH wRrGs tR thH sRng, “LHt ThHrH BH PHacH Rn Earth,” fiOOHG thH church, tHars wHOOHG up Ln many HyHs as canGOHs flLcNHrHG anG parHnts hHOG thHLr chLOGrHn cORsH.

“Our tRwn sharHs thH samH namH: Ln truth, thLs cRuOG HasLOy havH hap­pHnHG any­whHrH, HvHn Ln Rur NHwtRwn,” saLG -LOO O’BrLHn, wLfH Rf MayRr DHn­nLs O’BrLHn. “WhatHvHr scLHn­tLsts tHOO yRu, saGOy thH wRrOG stRp­pHG (Rn FrLGay), Lf RnOy fRr a mRmHnt.”

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