Plans coming together for an Ithaca vigil to honor Orlando victims

How can Ithaca best honor the victims of this weekend’s shooting in Orlando that took the lives of dozens of victims at a gay nightclub, and leaves dozens more in hospitals?

Some have suggested a video, a photo of a crowd spelling out support as Ithacans did for Charleston a year ago, a blood drive, or a fundraiser. That may all still happen, but a vigil is in the works for Tuesday evening.

rainbow-candles“Bring candles and warm hugs,” say organizers of the Ithaca Vigil for the Orlando Shooting Victims, currently planned for Bank Alley on the Commons at 7pm on Tuesday, June 14. (See Facebook event.)

The vigil is being promoted by the House of Merlot, a local event promoter and performance troupe that hosts pride events and drag shows in the Ithaca area.

Police chief John Barber of the Ithaca Police Department spoke out on Sunday night in the wake of Saturday night’s tragedy. “I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families, and all those touched by this deliberate act of terror,” he said. “Please keep the first responders in your prayers as they will undoubtedly struggle with what they witnessed as they responded to help the victims and stop the attack.”

Vigil organizers say, “We will light candles and come together in a motion of support and solidarity, of love, and of peace.” The event location is subject to change, they add.

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