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Diverse Groups Hold Vigils Around The Country In Support For Squirrel Hill Victims

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Just as many people in Pittsburgh felt the need to gather today, so have many others. In fact, all across the country, different groups and communities have been holding vigils all week to help people grapple with last Saturday's events.

LUE RACHELLE BRIM-ATKINS: We just wanted to come and be sure that we supported people in their grief because we know what that feels like.

CHARLIE MASUCCI: My family lies in the ashes of Europe. They were locked in a building, burned alive. It's a reason why we need to be here.

MARLENE MERMELSTEIN: Anywhere that there's a public showing to show that there are people that aren't apathetic is critically important.

MARTIN: That was Lue Rachelle Brim-Atkins in Seattle and Charlie Masucci and Marlene Mermelstein in Philadelphia. NPR reporters attended services around the country, and now we'd like to play some of what we heard.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: (Singing, unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Friends, it is good - it is good to be together. At a time such as this, feeling part of a larger community is so powerful. We are people of many faiths and people of no faith. We are all people who have been shaken by a heinous anti-Semitic event by yet another mass shooting in America. Love is stronger than hate, more prevalent than hate.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: As-salamu alaykum (ph), Shalom.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Shalom.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: Oscar Wilde said, where there is sorrow, there is holy ground. Our country has too much sorrow to bear. We must stand together in our holy ground.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: We're going to hang in there. There's nothing they can do to stop anything. We're still going to worship. We're still going to pray. We're still going to come together. We're still going to love America. We're still going to help others, no matter what they do. They can't do enough to stop us. We are America.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: (Singing) Joyce Feinberg. Richard Gottfried. Rose Mallinger. Jerry Rabinowitz.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #7: Cecil Rosenthal. David Rosenthal. Bernice Simon. Sylvan Simon. Daniel Stein. Melvin Wax. Irving Younger.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: That was Chava Mirel and Neil Weinstein in Seattle, Wash., Rabbis Adam Stock-Spilker and Tamar Grimm in St. Paul, Minn., Imam Taysir al-Khatib in Burlington, Vt., Congressman Emanuel Cleaver in Overland Park, Kan., and Rabbi Reuven Taff in Sacramento, Calif. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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