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Dec 17, 2012 11:29 PM by Maddie Garrett & Steven Albritton

Lafayette Vigil Honors Victims of Connecticut Shooting

With the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut still fresh on the minds of many, more than 100 people from around Acadiana attended Monday night's vigil. One of the speakers, a kindergarten teacher herself, offered a reflection and prayer for the teachers who were killed.

"I thought of my class. I thought of my own five and six year olds that I teach everyday. And I just couldn't imagine being in that situation as an educator," Hope Hebert said.

In class, Hebert had to explain to her students what happened after they asked if she had seen what they saw on the news.

"We had a little discussion and it was pretty heart wrenching. In the same token, I tried to reiterate that they were safe and that I would always keep them safe," Hebert said.

As the evening went on, candles were lit to signify the process of trying to move forward from this tragedy. Madre Annie Ethredge, from the Episcopal School of Acadiana, spoke to the crowd about that process.

"I think if anything good is to come from this, if these lives aren't to be lost in vain, It will be that we use it as a catalyst for change. That we look to each other beyond political lines, beyond our disagreements and work together for something that will help sustain us all," Ethredge said.

Elementary school students, much like those who were killed in Connecticut, were also in attendance at the Lafayette vigil. They came not for themselves, but for the victims.

13-year-old Moriah Johnson and her friend, 10-year-old Alexis Lewis said they wanted to show their support at the candlelight vigil.

"I want to help the parents out with their children and the people in their family," said Lewis tearing up. Johnson added, "Just to support all the kids in the tragic accident that happened."

Each child showed their support in their own way. Some of the youngest in attendance drew pictures for the victims, others stood silent holding a candle, and some lifted their voices for the victims.

The vigil was important for both children and their parents.

"It's important for them to know, still with everything that's going on, we still have a good support system," said parent Jennifer Thibodeaux.

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