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Manitowoc holds vigil for victims of gun violence

High school students talked about their anxiety going to classes. Others called for action from lawmakers.
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 10:32 PM CDT
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MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) - A vigil is being held in Manitowoc to honor the victims of gun violence this year. It comes after the massacre in a Uvalde, Texas, school and a racially-motivated attack in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store.

A steady stream of people showed up as the event started at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Among those paying their respects were teenagers from Manitowoc High School.

“When I saw the faces of the kids that lost their lives at school, I had thoughts about, what if that’s my sibling? What if that’s my cousin?” 16-year-old Isabel Martinez said.

“I was like very say because they’re so young and I don’t think they should be able to go through that if they’re just going to school. It’s just a regular school day,” 15-year-old Cynthia Crespo said.

We saw people holding posters with photos of the victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Pinwheels were planted along the lakeshore.

Crusaders of Justicia organized this event, its executive director Jennifer Estrada says the images of children dying in a safe place inspired her to take action.

“I am a mom, and it’s just heartbreaking, and fearful that I would have to be fearful to send my child to school and something like this can happen. My heart is just broken for those parents,” Estrada said.

There were calls from those in attendance to get federal and state lawmakers to ban assault weapons.

“What more do we need when our trained people don’t even want to go into a room because there’s an assault weapon?” Pastor Matthew Sauer of Manitowoc Cooperative Ministry said.

Organizers ended Friday’s vigil by reading the names of each person that died and lighting lanterns with the names of the victims written on them.

The Manitowoc vigil included planting pinwheels along the lakeshore
The vigil at the lighthouse pier follows mass shootings at a Texas school and New York state grocery store

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