Vigil held at Tidewater Islamic Center to remember victims of New Zealand attacks

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — 50 lives were lost in two recent mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The attacks have left people all over the world grieving for the lives lost, and those injured, who are still fighting for their lives.

10 On Your Side spoke with a local woman through social media, who says her brother-in-law and nephew were in one of the mosques during the attack.

Through recent updates to a website online, we learned her brother-in-law shielded her nephew from the bullets.

Both are alive and recovering.

“It’s incredible to think that a tragic terrible event that occurred on the other side of the globe could have a real true local impact, and we’re seeing that here,” said Michael Berlucchi with the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission.

The Muslim community of Hampton Roads and the ODU Muslim Student Association put together a vigil at the Tidwater Islamic Center near ODU to remember the lives lost, and support those who are suffering.

“Ultimately no person should be victimized because of how they worship or who they love,” Berlucchi said.

He says the vigil gives the community a chance to come together and support those grieving in the face of violence.

“We want to do everything we can to encourage our community to lend a hand and keep our hearts open and minds open,” he said.

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