Springfield Holds Interfaith Vigil Outside Capitol To Honor Synagogue Massacre Victims

November 02, 2018 - 8:23 am
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By Dave Dahl

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- An interfaith vigil held Thursday outside the Capitol in Springfield honored the 11 victims of Saturday’s synagogue massacre. 

The speakers at an interfaith vigil faced a colorful sea of umbrellas, as the rain could not keep away a couple of hundred people who wanted to defy the hatred shown by the Pittsburgh synagogue gunman five days earlier.

“We are one world, one country, one state, and one city,” said Springfield mayor Jim Langfelder. “I stand here before you as a proud grandson of my Jewish grandfather, who escaped persecution, and, by the blessings of God, made it safely to America.”

Langfelder said the more diversity, the better. 

Pat Chesley, president of the Jewish Federation of Springfield, said Jews are not alone.

“Others have suffered,” he said. “Recently, in Louisville, two African-Americans were gunned down (at a grocery store) because the white supremacists there couldn’t get into a black church and kill more people. So it is not just the Jews. Any loss of human life is a tragedy.”

Rev. Blythe Kieffer, a Springfield Presbyterian pastor, quoted the second inaugural address of President Lincoln, whose statue stood over the vigil.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all,” she said, “let us bind up the nation’s wounds and do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and all nations.”