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Dearborn Vigil for CT Shooting Vicitms: 'It's about the message'

A small contingency of supporters gathered at Dearborn City Hall Monday to mourn the victims of the shooting.

When Lincoln Park resident Karen heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, that took the lives of 20 children and six adults, she knew that she didn't want to mourn alone.

"I wanted to be around other people feeling the same way," she said while attending a candlelight vigil at Dearborn City Hall on Monday evening. "I feel helpless."

She wasn't alone, as around 20 members of the community gathered in Dearborn, while other vigils took place in Dearborn Heights and other nearby communities.

Dearborn's was organized by Hussein Hachem of the Young Leaders Committee, part of the Lebanese American Heritage Club.

Hachem said he organized the vigil out of a feeling that he had to do something to show the community of Newtown that Dearborn was with them in solidarity.

"I couldn't take it," he said. "It was too much tragedy to not respond; we need a peaceful way to respond and this is the best way to do that."

Hachem explained that the event—coordinated with the Arab Student Union of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the Young Leaders Committee of Fordson High School, the Lebanese American Heritage Club - Henry Ford Community College Chapter, and the Arab Student Union of Wayne State University—was supposed to target youth.

 "They need to know what's going on around them," he said.

That's why Karen said she came with her daughter and grandchildren.

"It's easier to have them around because they're hearing about this in school," she said of her granddaughters. "You don't want to let them out of your sight."

Turnout was light for the vigil, which was just announced over the weekend. However, Hachem said he believes any response is a worthwhile one.

"It's not always about how many people show up," he said. "It's about the message."

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