BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU)- An interfaith service was held Monday night to spread the word that hate is not the answer.
It was standing room only inside The Citadel as dozens gathered to remember the victims of the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. The shooting left 11 dead and six injured.
The Andrews University Community Engagement Council expressed solidarity with leaders of local Jewish communities here in Michiana. They hope to encourage everyone to stand up against all religious hatred and prejudice.
"When you're grieving, when you're suffering, sometimes you can feel very much alone, and it just makes such a difference to know there's people around you that are thinking of you, praying for you," said Theresa Reeve of the interfaith committee at Andrews University. "We can just surround all of our friends with with all of our care and it makes a difference."
Although there were 11 victims, they lit 12 candles to remember that the shooting wasn't an isolated incident and that each person's life is valuable.
Reeve was overjoyed to see how many people showed up Monday. She estimated there could be as few as 30 and as many as 300.
"That just shows how much people care," she said. "We hear a lot about how much hate there is, but when you look at the ordinary person, so many people just wanna have an opportunity to reach out and say I care."