NEWS

Black Mountain residents hold Sandy Hook vigil

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain residents held a vigil to honor the 10-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting Dec. 14.

A group of Black Mountain residents held a vigil the night of Dec. 14, marking the 10-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Connecticut.

There were 26 victims of the shooting, six adult staff members and 20 children.

Linda Tatsapaugh, who helped organize the event, said it is important to remember those who lost their lives in the shooting so they are not forgotten.

She said she, along with several others, was contacted by a member of the Hendersonville chapter of Moms Demand Action, which is “a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence,” according to its website.

The member said there would be a vigil in Hendersonville and encouraged Black Mountain residents to do the same.

Tatsapaughalong with members of the group Swannanoa Neighbors for Gun Safety, helped organize the vigil in Black Mountain.

Kiersten Hall also helped organize the vigil and said it was important for them to come together, regardless of how many people showed up.

Black Mountain residents held a vigil for the 10-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.

“It was important for us to just mark the anniversary and just come together, and it didn’t matter if two people showed up or 50,” Hall said. “It was just a matter of coming together for that moment, and we knew people all over the rest of the country were also having vigils and just moments of silence.”

Tatsapaugh agreed with Hall and said it was important to come together with community members.

“It was important for people to recognize this was happening all over the country,” Tatsapaughsaid. “We had our little piece there.”

The original vigil was planned to be held in the Black Mountain Town Square, but due to rain, was moved to White Horse Black Mountain.

Tatsapaughsaid more than 30 people attended the vigil, which featured music, poetry and a moment of silence.

Andy Gwynn played music on his acoustic guitar. Passages were read by Tatsapaugh, Lewis Galloway, Sienna Boyle and Mary Jo Clark. A high school student did a reading of Amanda Gorman’s poem “Hymn for the Hurting,” which was written following the Uvalde school shooting in May.

Participants held battery-operated candles as they remembered those lost in 2012 at Sandy Hook.

Tatsapaugh said it was important for her to come together with other residents to not only remember those who were killed, but to also acknowledge work needs to be done when it comes to gun safety.

“Number one, it’s important to pause and remember these folks who died, in my opinion, needlessly,” Tatsapaughsaid. “Two, to remind ourselves why we want to work for gun safety and prevent this kind of violence.”