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West Hartford Will Gather Sunday Night for Candlelight Vigil

Vigil for Newtown shooting victims and community will be held in Blue Back Square.

The West Hartford community will publicly express its grief and heartfelt sympathy for the victims, their familes, and the town of Newtown on Sunday night at a candlelight vigil in Blue Back Square.

"I know the West Hartford community, and it just seems like the right thing to do," said resident John Lyons, who began discussing plans for the vigil early Friday afternoon.

Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor has been working with Lyons to organize the vigil. Cantor said that as of Saturday afternoon, several clergy members, including Rabbi Michael Pincus of Congregation Beth Israel, Pastor Tom Carr of First Baptist Church, and Rev. Bob Hooper of St. James's Episcopal Church have said they will participate in the interdenominational event.

Cantor said there will be brief speeches, intended to comfort and guide our community in dealing with the unspeakable tragedy which took place Friday morning in Newtown.

Music will be provided by several singing groups, including choirs from Hall High School and First Baptist Church. A singing of "Amazing Grace" will be led by the choirs.

There will also likely be instrumental music.

Local officials, including Cantor, Mayor Scott Slifka, West Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen List, Police Chief Tracey Gove, Town Manager Ron Van Winkle, members of the Board of Education, and State Sen. Beth Bye, plan to attend.

The vigil will be held rain or shine, beginning at 6 p.m., in the courtyard of Blue Back Square.

People are asked to bring their own candles if possible, although some extra candles will be available.

"It will be people getting together, sharing, understanding, and hopefully feeling a little better," Lyons said.

The Town of West Hartford has also set up a fund to support families and the community of Newtown. Donations will be collected at the vigil, and can also be dropped off at the office of Town Clerk Essie Labrot. Checks can be made out to "Sandy Hook School Support Fund," said Labrot.

For additional information, visit the Blue Back Square Candle Vigil Facebook page, or contact Shari Cantor at 860-416-9611.

A partial list of other vigils to be held throughout the Connecticut can be found here.

John Lyons December 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Ronni, thank you so much. This is incredible and the response has been equally as moving. John
Judy Casperson December 16, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Thank you Ronni/ Deputy Mayor Cantor for organizing this vigil of support. I would also like to thank all of the West Hartford community members that reached out to me wanting to support a vigil for the Sandy Hook and Newtown Communities impacted by this tradgedy. I plan to be there to continue to pray for these families.

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