VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Over a week later, the Virginia Beach community is still turning to one another to try and make sense of the tragedy that happened at the municipal center on May 31.
At a vigil held on Sunday at Grace Bible Church, many say it’s just as important to show community members they’re not alone in their pain as it is to remember the 12 lives that were lost.
The focus of the vigil was healing and how to move forward. “It’s time for all of us to get M.A.D.: Make a difference,” said Bishop Ezekiel Williams.
“You say how can good come out of this? I believe good can come out of this, and I believe that we can learn to love one another, like scripture tells us,” he added.
Between scripture reads and worship Williams was one of the many religious leaders who stood up to share how he believed the community will heal together over time.
“I believe we can learn to put aside our differences, we can learn to work together and we can learn to appreciate one another while we have them because life is so short and we don’t know when it will be over,” Williams said.
One thing he made clear during the service is that everyone is affected by this tragedy in one way or another.
“Keith Cox, Ryan Keith Cox, was a friend of mine. We were in high school together,” said Williams. “We did work at a local church together many, many years ago and he was one of the individuals who lost his life.”
The heroic story of how Cox helped to save seven other people in Building 2 during the shooting has been told many times. One of the individuals he saved is one of the congregation members at Grace Bible Church.
Williams said, “I really don’t think it’s getting any easier. I don’t think that this is going to pass by or leave our minds anytime soon. I think it’s going to be with us for sometime.”
Williams and other religious leaders tell 10 On Your Side they will continue to show support through community vigils in the days and weeks to come.