Candlelit vigil held in Tempe for victims of Conn. tragedy - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Candlelit vigil held in Tempe for victims of Conn. tragedy

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

Members of the Connecticut community of Newtown came together Friday in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy. Hundreds of people gathered for a memorial service at a church in Newtown.

They offered prayers for those who lost their lives. Meanwhile, a similar vigil was held in the valley for anyone who needed some support while dealing with such a tragedy.

The vigil was rather impromptu, pulled together by local radio station KNIX.

Friday night, families gathered at a candlelight vigil in Tempe, praying for the 26 people killed and their families. With tears in their eyes, they prayed, holding candles and leaning on one another.

"I think we can all agree on one thing we saw something today I don't think we've seen in the history of our country," says Matt McAllister, KNIX.

Losing 26 innocent people, most of them children, is hard to even imagine. The reality is beyond painful.

"I guess your first thought, who could do such a thing and would such a terrible tragedy occur with such young students," says Karen Mensing.

Mensing is a Paradise Valley teacher and an expectant mother.

"I can't imagine, it's beyond belief actually, that you send your child off to school and something so terrible occurs."

Families with children were in the crowd, along with faces of kids around the same age as the victims.

One speaker after another took the podium. Some were almost at a loss for words.

"Someone like myself I'm supposed to be a trained speaker," says Arizona Representative David Schweikert. "You get up here behind the microphone and what do you say, your heart is ripped out when you see something like this."

Mensing has this message for the victims' families.

"My thoughts and prayers and heart are with you right now and how terribly sorry I am."

And a lot of people are talking about how comforting it was to see people coming together in a time like this. The message we kept hearing over and over -- take the time tell your family and friends just how much they mean to you.

Flags were also lowered to half-staff across our state in honor of the victims of the Connecticut school massacre.

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