Victoria West students pray for victims (video)
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Prayer brought more than two dozen West High School students, staff members and parents together Thursday morning.
Braving the cold and biting wind, the group gathered at the flagpole outside the school to honor those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut last week.
Sheryl Murphy, whose son is a freshman at West, organized the event.
"After the tragedy of last week, everybody had a need to do something. All we can really do is pray," Murphy said.
"When we join together in force we are showing our students, teachers and staff that we do care and that it does matter what happens. That's why we are here."
Fittingly, Murphy opened the program with a prayer.
"Father, I pray for our children that they know you and that when they walk through the doors of our schools, that they are not alone, that they carry you in their hearts.
"I pray Lord that they be free to learn and to enjoy each day and to not live in fear," Murphy said.
The group joined together in several songs, including "Silent Night" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."
Several of those in attendance also offered a prayer.
"Heavenly God, watch over those kids that are up there with you. Comfort them. And be with those parents that are suffering and let them know that we are with them," said 16-year-old Meagan Fishbeck.
Nadine Littles, an instructional aide at the school, said it was important for her to take part in the vigil.
"I have two children and I have grandchildren," said Littles, struggling with her emotions. "And they are alive.
"Love is not that easy sometimes, but I am just going to love the heck out them. Every day."