VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach community gathered at Mt. Trashmore on Saturday morning for a memorial walk to honor the 12 lives lost in the Municipal Center shooting on May 31.
Over the past week community members have prayed, sang and ran to honor the shooting victims.
But this morning, they walked along Mt. Trashmore to signify unity in this disheartening time, and Virginia Beach city officials started it out with some much needed hugs.
“This is a very difficult time for our city and this is a very difficult time for each of us, so I want to ask you to do something. Everyone who’s here embrace the people who are around you,” says Virginia Beach City Councilman Michael Berlucchi.
Angel Perkins and her family started organizing the walk the day after the shooting because they thought the city should mourn together.
More than a thousand people showed up.
A Virginia Beach police chaplain said he knew he didn’t have to worry about the weather. He said no matter if it was raining, snowing, sleeting, he knew people would show up for this cause.
“It was a senseless act. I’ve got two kids and I just can’t imagine that happening if it was my family there,” says one walker.
But almost just as important as the message of the walk itself was the message of healing that Virginia Beach will come back stronger than ever before.