COLORADO SPRINGS — The tragic events of the school shootings this year have affected many here at home in Colorado Springs, and a Thursday night focused on bringing people together.
“I think this is a great way to process feelings. A creative way,” said Heidi Cooper, a Colorado Springs counselor.
Organizers said they wanted a place where people could share their thoughts and feelings.
“We wanted to provide a place for people to reflect and respond. We need to be together. We need people to not feel alone or helpless,” said Julie Carr, Southern Colorado Moms Demand Action volunteer.
This safe space was the motivation behind the vigil, as well as the Texas school shooting earlier this week.
“We felt like our nation is reeling again, continually almost, from the instances of gun violence,” Carr said.
Even though attendees don’t call Texas home, the shooting still hit close to home.
“When I celebrated the students at our school graduating, I felt that contrast of those who could not experience that,” Cooper said.
The vigil gave people in attendance some unique ways to express their emotions, by transforming a tool of destruction to a tool of growth.
“Our country desperately needs transformation and so the metaphor of pounding a gun into a garden tool serves as a point of reference,” said Carr.
People attending could also sit around the fountain and reflect with others.
“Some of us have strong feelings and go to rallies and things. This is different. This is us coming together as a community and there’s such a diverse representation here,” Cooper said.
And at the root, Carr said she wants this space to provide hope.
“I’m hearing so many people say: ‘I’ve given up. There’s no way, nothing’s going to change’,” she said. “I don’t believe that. I believe that people can move forward and that together we can make something change.”