SLIDESHOW: Candlelight vigil a poignant & intimate gathering on Alki honoring Newtown, Ct. victims
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A candlelight vigil took place tonight, Dec. 22, beginning at 5:00 p.m. by the wooden picnic shelter south of the Alki Bathhouse to honor the victims in the Newtown, Connecticut shooting tragedy. About 18 gathered, lit candles, and sang. Each read the name of a shooting victim out loud. There were three speakers.
In the West Seattle Herald's announcement about the vigil, organizer Casey Ann Rasmussen of West Seattle said, "I don't want this to be a political event in any way. No talk about guns or other issues. This is an event to honor the victims of this tragedy. I've talked to many people and we're all seeking some way to deal with this."
Her husband, Trevor Ras, a professional musician, played guitar, seated in the corner, and later, standing with speakers.
Speaking were Rasmussen, Margaret (Marge) Martin, Executive Director of Families & Friends of Violent Crime Victims, and Rachel Fiala of West Seattle, who met Casey Rasmussen through Separation and Loss Services.
"I Very much believe that coming together in grief and mourning, and really staying connected to the vulnerability to our grief opens space for us to most powerfully move foreword in supporting our communities," Fiala told the West Seattle Herald following her poignant speech.
"What really moved me hear tonight was Rachel's speech at the end when she said, 'Bringing tender hearts into a public space,'" said Clay Eales, West Seattle author and historian, who appeared emotionally moved. "We just need to do a lot more of that in all circumstances. It's about coming together, and what a beautiful night."
"The youngest of my 11 siblings was violently murdered in a home robbery," said Martin of her sister. That happened 12 years ago. There were 11 different ways to respond. We could not be a support for one another (initially) because we couldn't support ourselves emotionally during that time. That's where (the organization) Family & Friends comes in. They provide that additional layer of support you need to help you figure out how to move foreword."
Added Al Semple of West Seattle succinctly, "I felt I needed to be here."