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Hundreds gather at community vigil to honor lives lost

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Posted at 11:33 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 09:40:25-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — At the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street, hundreds gathered to celebrate the ten lives lost on Saturday.

“We are stronger together, we’re powerful together, together we stand.”

Standing arm in arm, with candles lit, some sang, others cried, and everyone honored those lost.

“Letting the world know that we’re here, Buffalo’s here, we’re still strong and we’re here to heal together,” community vigil co-organizer Jamil Crews said.

The message was clear: hate will not win.

“We’re not going to let Jefferson die, we’re going to build it up. We’re not going to let that Tops close, we are going to open those doors.”

But speakers at the vigil said something must change.

“We can’t just celebrate their lives without legislative change. We need federal gun protection.”

“We need to be reassured that we are safe in our own communities,” community vigil co-organizer Kelly Diane Galloway said. “We deserve to be safe.”

At Young Tabernacle Holiness Church, neighbors prayed for the victims’ families, for the community and for all who are grieving.

“We all as a city lost previous brothers and sister,” overseer of the church, Jean Young said. “That’s why we gather, to show our support for those who are grieving because we grieve with them.”

Leaders at both events said to move on, everyone must live with love.

“Without love, you head down a road that leads you into a ditch,” Young said. “You can’t return from it.”

“Let us hold them accountable, let us not let them silence us. Let us lead with love, let us lead with joy.”