Candlelight vigil for those in Charlottesville - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Candlelight vigil for those in Charlottesville

The rain didn’t steer people in Wilmington away Sunday from honoring those who stood up against violence in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday August 12. The rain didn’t steer people in Wilmington away Sunday from honoring those who stood up against violence in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday August 12.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

The rain didn’t steer people in Wilmington away Sunday from honoring those who stood up against violence in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday, Aug. 12.

More than 100 people participated in a vigil at Riverfront Park, remembering the violence in Charlottesville, and talking about changes for the United States. According to co-organizer James Middleton, there was no hesitation to have the vigil.

“It felt like as soon as we saw footage of that attack, it was very spontaneous and it came together very quickly. I don’t think that you could see and feel like you didn’t want to take action,” Middleton said.

Those in attendance held flowers and lit candles as the rain poured at times around them. Middleton said he was surprised and comforted when so many people came and stayed despite the weather.

“I got really choked up and had a really hard time starting up because it was unbelievable seeing so many people come out here make a stand when it would be really easy to stay home. But it reassured me at the same that what we are doing is right and that we are ready to change and that we are recognizing the real problems that we have in this country, and that once you recognize it you’re ready to take the steps to change it,” he said.

Wilmington resident Lynn Shoemaker had a similar reaction when she saw the amount of people on the steps of the courthouse downtown.

“When I came around the corner here, I was emotionally struck at how many people had come out in nasty weather to be here together. And I am here because I think we have to do all things through love and stand up against hate,” Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker said she’s optimistic after seeing the turnout at the vigil, but said there’s still a lot of work the country has to do.

“I think we have a long haul ahead of us and we have to keep showing up, and we have to keep standing up and we have to keep fighting back in a civil and loving way,” Shoemaker said.  

Fellow Wilmington resident Steve Kelly said he came to the vigil because he can’t take the “state of hatred in our country.”

“I thought we were past some of this stuff that has gone on in this country, and it seems like it’s all coming back again,” he said.

Kelly said to change this, everyone has to take a stand.

“People have to get off of Facebook and hating on Facebook, and they need to start acting with their feet. Speak with your feet make action. Call your congress people and do something don’t just talk about the problem change the problem,” he said.

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