Vigil preaches unity, hope in wake of Pittsburgh shooting


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — As the rain poured, calls for unity poured out as well.

A group of dozens of mourners gathered on the steps of the Illinois State Capitol. Steve Jackman of Springfield was one of many huddled under an umbrella.

"We have got to come together," Jackman said. "We can't be marginalizing people who have different beliefs."

On Saturday, a gunman opened fire inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people in the process.

In the following days, an outpouring of grief and support flowed from the Jewish community and members of all faiths.

"It's moving," said Patrick Chesley, president of the Jewish Federation of Springfield. "The whole Jewish community appreciates the support that we get."

Jackman braved the cold rain to voice that very support.

"It doesn't matter what your faith is or isn't," Jackman said. "The key thing is you use it to help people rather than hurt them."

As prayers echoed over the splash of raindrops, one thing connected everyone in attendance: a call to never lose faith.

"We hope people will not lose hope — will not lose faith — will continue to believe that most people are good," Chesley said.

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