RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The name of each victim of the Orlando terror attack was read aloud at an interfaith vigil in Raleigh Monday night.
The crowd at the vigil, held at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, heard from representatives from different religions, races and sexual orientations.
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Speakers preached messages of love and unity.
“We can stand in solidarity as Muslim Americans, Christian Americans, Jewish Americans, Americans of any faith and all faith, as gay Americans, as straight Americans. We can stand in solidarity and not allow this nation to be divided and defeated by the message of hate,” said Imam Adbullah Antepli of Duke University.
Farris Barakat, whose brother was fatally shot in Chapel Hill in 2015, spoke to the crowd about hate.
“Forever I feel like I’m going to have this unkind hatred words towards this man no matter how peaceful I’m going to try to be, no matter how hard we need to come together. Especially when I have to defend myself when it’s not in my name,” said Barakat.
Those in the pews were there for many reasons.
“I look at the Facebook posts every day and it’s all that I see, and it’s you know, you’re hurt. I’m hurt. And I’m just coming out here to look for a little bit of comfort,” said David Haynes.
A mother and daughter came to be together.
This could have been her. It could have been here in Raleigh at Legends or another place. And it just terrifies me that people have such hate,” said Janet McCormick.
Heartbroken people gathering to gain strength, and build a community back up once again.
“I hope that we leave this place with a firm understanding and grounding that love always overcomes evil,” said Rev. Nancy Petty, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.