Photo and story by Laklyn May / Contributing Writer
Just one day after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, a vigil was held in Nashville to honor the victims of the shooting, which claimed the lives of almost 60 people.
Many people gathered at the Ascend Amphitheater, which was decorated with red, white and blue lights in support of Las Vegas, to pay their respects to those who were lost.
One of those in attendance, Anastasia Morales, 17, stated, “It breaks my heart to think of all those people and their families. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for any of them.”
Country music stars such as Amy Grant, Keith Urban, Allison Krauss and Vince Gill also came to the vigil to pay tribute through song. Gill was the first to pay his respects. He honored the victims with his song, “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” as well as the first chorus of “Amazing Grace.”
Following his performance, his wife, Amy Grant, came to the stage to lead the audience in prayer.
“We lift up moms and dads grieving the loss of a child, a son and a daughter,” Grant said in her prayer. “We lift up the doctors and nurses tending to the hundreds of people recovering.”
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry came to the stage shortly after the prayer. She began her speech by addressing that it was the second week in a row that a vigil had been held in Nashville after a mass shooting.
“Last week, it happened in a small church, right here in our community,” Barry said. “This week, (it) was a big, outdoor music festival in another city. Death visited two places where people were simply doing the things that give life meaning and give life joy. They were worshiping their God. They were listening to music. They were enjoying good times with family and friends. You shouldn’t have to worry about gunfire in those places, and you certainly shouldn’t have to worry about dying.”
Barry then discussed how the city of Nashville could work as a community to honor and support the victims of these acts of violence. She also encouraged the audience to donate to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Music City Cares Fund, which is collecting donations in order to assist those affected by the shooting.
She then introduced the next performer, Keith Urban.
“I want to firstly offer the prayers and love of my whole family to everybody affected by last night’s horrific tragedy,” Urban said.
Urban then performed Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
Another prayer was said, followed by a concluding performance of “Amazing Grace” by Allison Krauss and The Cox Family.
“This was a cruel injustice,” Morales said after the vigil ended. “These people deserved so much more than what that coward limited their life to.”
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It is great to see people coming together after this huge tragedy, trying to help the lives of those affected by the shooting. Unfortunately, more needs to be done to make sure something like this does not happen again. Those who want to talk about gun laws are shut down by those who refuse to do so because they think it is “too soon” or that the people wanting to see something done have “no respect for the family.” Discussions need to happen in a nation that has so many rights in it including free speech, but when it comes to this, it seems like so many cages are being placed around our speech, mainly coming from those who heavily support lax control on guns or those affiliated with the NRA. Those who can effectively engage a discussion at a congressional level should do so immediately and without restraint, not backing down when someone thinks talking about such a thing is inappropriate or too soon. Yes, talking about something like this is uncomfortable and may hurt someone who had to go through it, but it does need to be talked about and discussed so that future families will not have to experience something as unthinkable as this mass shooting.
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