SOUTHWEST DETROIT, Mich. – Metro Detroit leaders and the community came together for a vigil Friday (May 27) in Southwest Detroit to honor those 21 people who were killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The tragedy is now sparking calls for solutions to prevent another mass shooting from happening again.
They met in front of a school, and It was very emotional. There was singing and prayers in both English and Spanish.
Over and over again, they kept saying that today was about adding feet to those prayers.
“No child should have to experience that,” said an emotional Elizabeth Valdez with Detroit Southwest Pride.
Emotional pleas came from community leaders, parents, grandparents, and elected officials like United States Representative Rashida Tlaib.
“They were babies,” said Tlaib.
“A week and a half where Black elders are not safe at the grocery store and Taiwanese Americans are not safe in a church,” said Michigan State Senator Stephanie Chang. “Fellowship hall and then children are not safe at their school.”
Community activists like Cindy Garcia organized the vigil to remember the names of those that were lost.
“We want people to not forget these faces,” said Garcia. “These were the children that asked for help and didn’t get it.”
Although Uvalde, Texas is more than 1000 miles away, Garcia says the pain is all the same, but the question is will this time be any different?
“I don’t know,” said Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. “I would of thought Newtown was different. I would’ve thought Parkland was different. I would’ve thought Columbine was different.”
Dingell says everyone should be a part of the solution.
“Don’t look to your elected officials only to get this fixed,” Dingell said. “Look to yourselves and your neighbors to stand up to hate.”
Friday night’s vigil wasn’t all about mourning. It was very important to community leaders that neighbors got information on how to get involved, met their elected officials, and understood what type of gun safety laws their lawmakers were working on.