Local church remembers, prays for Connecticut shooting victims

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Even though the tragedy happened nearly 900 miles away, people are mourning right here in our area.

On Saturday, families gathered at Baptist Church of North Augusta for a prayer vigil to remember the victims in the Connecticut shooting.

The emotion was palpable. Parents clutching their children, tears streaming down people's faces and prayers spoken out loud.

For many parents, even though it wasn't their kids, this tragedy hit very close to home.

"You know, when you send them to school every day, you always expect them to come home, and the fear of sending them and losing them is, hurts," said mother Michelle Sweat, barely getting her words out through tears.

"It's a chance to remember those who are hurting and those who woke up this morning devastated. Maybe they thought it was unbelievable, but that tragedy is really sinking in as reality and so we want to pray for them," Pastor Doug Page said.

Vigil attendee John Harris said it's tragic to have this going on around the holiday season.

"Those people in Connecticut, we want them to know that they're on our minds. We want them to know that our hearts grieve for them. If you have feelings, you should feel this," he said.

Page says he has a kindergartener, a second grader and a fourth grader.

"Immediately you want to just put your arms around them because we realize that's really what's most important," Page said.

Sweat said it just as easily could've happened in our area.

"It's a small town, it's quiet. I mean, North Augusta's just like that," she said.

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