St. Augustine Vigil For Victims of Pittsburgh Shootings

A vigil at the Plaza De La Constitucion in St. Augustine, Florida was held on the evening of October 30th, 2018 in honor of those murdered on the previous Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Rabbi Levi Vogel of St. Augustine’s Chabad synagogue officiated. Among those who also spoke were St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver and City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline.

The last speaker, whose name I unfortunately was not able to write down, is a member of the Islamic Center of St. Augustine. He brought his young daughter with him on the stage, and proceeded to capture the hearts of all in attendance by speaking to the greater need for love, compassion, and understanding of all faiths in the wake of such a tragedy.

Rabbi Vogel finished the service by leading the crowd in an English reading of the Mourner’s Kaddish followed by a reciting of it in Hebrew.

We were miles away from the families of the victims in Squirrel Hill. But our collective hope for an end to senseless gun violence remains as bright as the yahrzeit candles we lit in their honor. May their murders not be in vain.

 

 

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21 thoughts on “St. Augustine Vigil For Victims of Pittsburgh Shootings

  1. I can’t fathom the degree of hate that was the catalyst for this tragedy. Yet, I’m pleased that you attended a vigil for the victims. It won’t bring them back, but it proves that the light of humanity lives on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Slaughtering worshipers while in their house of worship – another act of cowardice that’s becoming all too common here in the free world.
    It helps to be a part of a community vigil – for oneself and to show a type of solidarity with those affected. Glad you were there. It counts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this kind of hate has always been there. But the Internet has certainly allowed for those who think like that to come together in a way that was much more difficult because of time and distance barriers. I used to think the advent of 24 hour cable news was problematic, but this to me is tangentially an outgrowth of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t things like this shooting cause anyone (besides me) to question the very existence of a God? This contemporary version has only been around a few thousand years. Before that, Greek and Roman Gods were thought to be the truth. In 1,000 years it could be some wholly different version of a deity. It’s all so fluid and continent upon social movements.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely they do. My own set of personal beliefs are complicated enough without such tragedies happening, and I find myself even more in doubt when they do. But I suppose I fall back on at least the idea of a “spirit” of some kind of to believe in. Between that and a blanket during those vulnerable moments in the middle of the night, that’s all I got.

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  4. Marty, I admire you and the people of St. Augustine for standing in remembrance of the innocent victims. After horrible events like this, it is hard to express your grief, or know what to do. I appreciate your example. – Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Joe. It’s awfully kind of you to say that. We were humbled to be in attendance and to participate in a small way. Afterwards we spoke to nearly all of the speakers one-on-one and thanked them for their words. It’s one small community’s acknowledgement of the awful tragedy in another part of the country.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing this vigil at St. Augustine. Just so happened that I visited St. A the weekend before Halloween – a college buddies get-together. We choose St. Augustine because we’d never been there (friends from Alabama, Long Island, Boston and… Pittsburgh). Yes, one of my college friends lives in Pittsburgh and we were all so devastated by the killings. Hate makes no sense – no matter who it’s targeted toward. Hate is Dark. We must spread Light, and that’s what the St. Augustine vigil did. Peace. Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

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