As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, New Yorkers came together to mourn and inspire change.
Laying 10 flowers for the 10 victims were Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist New Yorkers.
They gathered at Bethel Gospel Assembly in Harlem in pain and with a purpose.
“We’ve got to come together to reach out to our family in Buffalo and embrace them in this circle of healing and love and compassion,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said.
Doris Dixon of Harlem went to the vigil for the comfort of community and mourned the hate-fueled violence upstate.
“It’s hard. It’s indescribable, really, to explain the emotions that you go through, that you’re just trying to live your everyday life,” Dixon said.
Linda Cotton came as a show of strength for her granddaughter, her community, and herself.
“We got to be strong for each other,” Cotton said.
“Pain is pain and the premature taking of the life of an innocent person is felt and doesn’t dissipate where you are geographically or who the person is that took your loved one,” Adams said.
The speakers emphasized that the collective pain must bring about some sort of change in society. Without education, it was said, there is no tolerance.
“Hate is prevalent today just as it was hundreds and hundreds of years ago,” City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said.
“The government, city and state have to work hard to educate our populations about the growing diversity of our nations,” another New Yorker said.
For many in attendance, the first step was just standing in sadness together.
“How long do we allow racism, racism, to be at the bedrock of so much evil in this society?” Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum said.
“We really need to come together as a nation and just say enough is enough,” DIxon added.