LAURINBURG — Just a week ago on Sunday, 49 people were killed and another 53 were injured in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
There will be candlelight memorial in remembrance of the victims and families on the campus of St. Andrews University. The memorial will be held Sunday at 8 pm on the on the steps of the Detamble Library.
The service will be led by Nancy Barrineau and Bonnie Kelley. There will be reflections, readings and songs. The Laurinburg event is just one of many such vigils being held across the nation for the victims of the massacre — the bloodiest mass shooting in modern American history. Omar Mateen, the man accused of opening fire in Pulse nightclub, was killed in a standoff with police.
Sue Fidler, an organizer for the event, said that after speaking with friends in the LGBT, she realized that something needed to be done to mark the tragedy locally.
“I felt like the least we could do was have one here,” Fidler said.
She added that the vigil is a way for local residents to show their support and love. Fidler said the Lutheran Church is supplying the candles.
Jan Schmidt is also helping to plan the vigil.
“We need to bring the community together and recognize what happened. It affected people in so many different ways. This is to bring people together to show respect as a community,” she said.
Schmidt said those who take part in the vigil will also have an opportunity to speak. The names of the 49 killed will be read. Schmidt said the program should last no more than half an hour.
Barrineau said the vigil is necessary so the community can begin to heal.
“It is necessary to name the names, acknowledge what happened as a community, not individually. It is a sense that we can honor the dead and pray for the victims together.”
She said while the shooting may have had an impact on the public for her, the incident was more personal.
“I understand the challenges a lot of those people faced. It’s about hatred, it’s about violence against gay people in America. It’s about gun control,”she said. “But personally, for the LGBT community it was more intense.”
For information call Fidler 910-276-8571, Barrineau at 910-276-0357 or Jan Schmidt at 910-276-4179. To get to the vigil site drive to the library by St. Andrews Drive off U.S 401. Go to the end of the drive and turn left into the parking lot.
Reach Maria D. Grandy at 910-506-3171.