In a wake of the mass shooting that took place Thursday, Oct. 1 at Umpqua Community College, Eugene residents gathered at Alton Baker Park Sunday night to honor the loss in a candlelight vigil.
Two Roseburg natives Lisa Sweely and Tabatha Brown, who both graduated from Roseburg High School and UCC, organized the vigil.
“It means the world to us and to all of them that you are here,” Brown said at the vigil. “(I) don’t know how this goes, but thank you for being here.”
Brown’s boyfriend Joe Simmons also helped organize the vigil.
“We are all neighbors, brothers and families in a way,” said Simmons. “We all pray for the community of Roseburg.”
Stacy Boyland and Korrellon Boyland, who are father and brother of one of the survivors, also spoke at the vigil.
“We thank you for your support,” Korrellon said. “You are all amazing people, and we know every prayer, every thoughts are with us.”
“I can’t begin to describe the feelings went through me when I heard the news,” Stacy said. “I just want everybody here, who have children, to tell (them) everyday that you love them and hold on tight to them.”
The vigil began with a harmony from a local volunteer group, The Eugene Threshold Singers.
They sang the words:
“We are here together, you are not alone. We are here now, you are not alone. We are beside you, You are not alone.”
As the night went on, tears were shed and candles were lit up a corner of Alton Baker Park. Nine minutes of silence took place to honor the nine lives that were lost on Thursday morning.
After Simmons said a prayer for Roseburg, many joined together in a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
About 50 people came to the vigil to pray, support and honor the victims.