The crowd inside the sanctuary on West First Street in downtown Dayton wanted to send a clear message in the wake of the deadly shooting in the Oregon District early Sunday: Dayton is strong.
That message came through all the prayers and hymns offered during the vigil at Christ Episcopal Church, hosted by Eternal Joy Metropolitan Community Church and other churches downtown.
A candle was lit for each of the nine killed in the Oregon District shooting, the 22 dead in the mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and the killing of four at the food festival in Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
"I thought this was a pretty stirring memorial here," said Mike Schwab of Beavercreek.
Gatherings such as the one Wednesday night are what is needed, attendees told News Center 7's Sean Cudahy.
"It’s sad that tragedies bring us together…we were just reeling from the KKK…from the tornadoes…now this," said Riverside resident Ethel Burns, alluding to the KKK rally on Courthouse Square in late May and the Memorial Day tornado outbreak a few hours later.
"Dayton and surrounding communities…we keep getting bent but we haven’t broken, we’re not broken, despite it all, we’re not broken," Burns said.