ONEONTA – A candlelight vigil to honor victims in the latest acts of gun violence, including Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and Dallas police officers, is planned at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 14, in Muller Plaza.
“The focus of the vigil will be to mourn the recent unnecessary loss of lives of police officers and young black men and to respect their memory,” said NAACP leader Regina Betts. “We stand with loved ones, friends and colleagues affected by violence. We decry social injustices, especially racism, and seek reconciliation and understand with those we somehow fear, resent or threaten.”
Speakers at the vigil will include Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Police Chief Dennis Nayor and the Rev. Elsie Rhodes, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, and the names of the victims will be read aloud.
The vigil is co-hosted by the Oneonta NAACP and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Walton-Leavitt, First United Presbyterian (“Red Door”) Church.
“The NAACP, our allies of all religious faiths and our public officials have been working together for social justice, peaceful relations and the safety of our communities,” said Betts. “We hope to create opportunities for an exchange of ideas in small group meetings in the days and weeks to come.”