Vigil mourns slain students, condemns gun-glorifying church

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  • (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • Milford Mayor Sean Strub speaks during the vigil (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • (Photo by Anya Tikka)

By Anya Tikka

— Community members gathered at an emotional candlelight vigil held in front of the Pike County Courthouse on Feb. 28 in response to a local celebration centered around assault rifles.

They mourned the students killed on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, by a gunman armed with an AR-15 — the sort of gun central to the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary's blessing ceremony in Newfoundland held that same day (see related story on page 2).

The vigil was well-attended, with many speakers both grieving for the Parkland students and condemning the Sanctuary Church for glorifying an instrument of slaughter. Pike County Commissioner Steve Guccini said assault weapons like the AR-15 belong in war, not in civil society.

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