Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Nick Adams
for West Seattle Blog
The 3,000 miles between Seattle and Newtown, Connecticut, closed in a heartbeat Saturday night – a heartbeat and a candle flame:
Though a chilly wind buffeted the 30 or so who gathered for a candlelight vigil – the first public gathering in West Seattle to honor the Connecticut community rocked by inexplicable deadly violence – the heartbeat, and heartbreak, could almost be heard. It came with the reading of victims’ names, each evoking an image, innocent child, heroic teacher…
It came with quiet songs – from “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to “Silent Night” …
The grief for those lost burned bright, though eight long days had passed, and across the country, the final funerals had happened hours earlier.
Those who accepted a slip of paper with a name to read were urged to spend a few moments each day thinking about that person.
And those who came were acknowledged for daring to open up: “It’s difficult to bring a tender heart into a public space, not knowing who you wlll meet,” they were told.
Even with cameras and lights, the circle held dignity and respect.
Then, as the gathering ebbed after about 40 minutes, Trevor Rasmussen again softly played guitar:
The song – “Fire and Rain.” The latter had held off during the gathering; all the better for the former to burn bright:
As originally reported, the gathering was organized by West Seattle’s Casey Ann Rasmussen (at right in photo above), and supported by Families and Friends of Violent-Crime Victims, whose director Marge Martin joined Casey in speaking very briefly as the vigil began.