Thursday, 7 Jul 2022

Kingston residents hold vigil to remember Pittsburgh shooting victims

More than 300 people gathered at Confederation Park in Kingston on Tuesday to show solidarity for the victims of a mass shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa. On Saturday, 11 people were shot and killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Rabbi Erin Polansky with Beth Israel Synagogue in Kingston says it was comforting to see everyone come together in his own city.

“It’s just very heartwarming and encouraging and not at all surprising from this community.”

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Dignitaries like newly elected mayor Bryan Paterson and Kingston’s police chief-designate Antje McNeely were in attendance. Kingston faith and community leaders attended as well. Jagdeep Walia, president of the Kingston Sikh Cultural Association says the attack on the Jewish faith hurt everyone.

“It’s not a loss to one faith, it’s a loss to all faiths and we should bring ourselves together and say, we want peace, we want love.”

In a service that lasted more than an hour, mourners heard songs and prayers from a variety of different religious leaders in the city. This included a prayer from the Islamic Society of Kingston and words of condolence from groups like Baha’i Community of Kingston and the Chabad Student Centre.

Polansky says although the mass shooting happened hundreds of kilometres away, he felt the pain of the tragedy in Kingston.

“We are family, when one of us hurts, we all feel it,” Polansky said.

Vigils like the one in Kingston are just one of several that happened across the country, allowing people to come together to support those lost in the shooting. On top of the 11 people who were killed, six more were injured in the attack.

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