Prayer vigils honor marathon victims - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Prayer vigils honor marathon victims


While the investigation continues into who is responsible for these attacks and why, the Boston community is coming together Tuesday night to honor the lives lost in the marathon explosions.

National Guard and police continued to stage troops and equipment just blocks away from the Boston Common, where the community came together with a message of peace.

Bostonians turned to each other to grieve and heal. At the vigil, they sang hymns, consoled one another with hugs and left behind messages of hope.

"It's nice to come here to pay your respects to something so tragic," said Bridget Gough, of Wrenthem.

The Goughs brought their 10-year-old son, Matt, into the city Tuesday from Wrenthem to work on a school project about Paul Revere. They decided the lesson of love on the Boston Common was just as important.

"You know, our son is 10 years old, and you hear of an 8-year-old and what happened to him as he was waiting for his father to cross the finish line," said Shawn Gough. "And here our son is 10 years old, and we're just fortunate to have him with us today. And just being with him, it's just tragic."

Just miles away in Dorchester, hundreds lit candles and American flags waved honoring the life of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed by one of the explosions near the finish line of the marathon.

His younger sister and mother were also badly injured.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News they are just trying to make sense of it all.

"I was just devastated by what happened yesterday and I just wanted to support my community," said Brandy Wilkerson, of Dorchester. "I was raised here, and it hurts to see what happened yesterday, to wake up and know it could happen anywhere, anytime."

Father John Connelly asked those gathered to pray for Martin and all the victims as well as their families and the first responders.

Connelly said we'll need to lean on each other in the days to come.

"We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers," said Martin's father in a statement Tuesday. 

A member of the Fairfield University community has lost a relative in the Boston Marathon, and on Tuesday night, students and faculty rallied together to offer their support at a vigil on campus at Egan Chapel. 

School officials would not say if the person affected is a student or a faculty member.

Eyewitness News learned that person is in Boston Tuesday night with family.

"You can't explain how important the Marathon Monday is to anyone who doesn't live in Massachusetts," said Fairfield University junior Joe Marino, who is a Boston native. "It's a hard thing to make sense of. It's kind of our day."

Marino is just one of the members of the Fairfield University community that call Massachusetts home.

Students prayed and held candles for the city of Boston.

"Despite the evil that took place, that's not what's going to win out at the end," said Father George Collins, who is the campus ministry director. "That the power of love, the power of God is more potent than anything."

A larger mass will be held on the Fairfield University campus Wednesday afternoon.

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked for people "to pray for peace and to stand in solidarity" after Monday's events.

"We will gather this evening at All Souls ... So that together we may keep hope kindled," said the Rev. Carolyn Patierno, of All Souls, in a statement. "We will stand in solidarity with the victims of this senseless violence as we stand in solidarity with peace-loving people everywhere."

Moments of reflection and prayer vigils were held at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown as well as the All Souls Unitarian Universalists in New London Tuesday night.

The Associated Press is reporting President Barack Obama is expected to travel to Boston on Thursday for an interfaith service for bombing victims.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick tweeted the service will be held at Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End at 11 a.m. 

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