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Interfaith prayer vigil Dec. 10 calls for end to gun violence

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Wilmington-area faith communities and grassroots organizations will come together Monday, Dec. 10, for a vigil to pray for an end to gun violence and to remember local victims of that violence. They will meet from 6 to 6:30 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, Third and Market streets in Perry Hall, on the Dock Street side of the church.

The vigil will feature prayers for victims and families, those working to curb gun violence in our community and for the courage to stand together against violence in all its forms.

This is the fourth annual December prayer vigil to be sponsored by local faith communities, said Don Arabian, a spokesman for Wilmington Faiths Against Gun Violence (WFAGV), the group organizing this event. The vigil will be held in conjunction with nationwide remembrances conducted each year during a period in December that most closely coincides with the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

This year, as in past years, similar vigils will be held across the country to remember all victims of gun violence and to pray for an end to that violence.

“Statistically, over 30,000 Americans die every year of gun-shot wounds, another 60,000 or more are injured,” Arabian said in a news release. “Among that number are 7,000 children. Tragically, ever year gun violence incidents in Greater Wilmington contribute to those statistics.”

“The vigil welcomes all individuals, regardless of beliefs and affiliation, who are concerned about violence in our community, especially gun violence,” the Rev. James Hanisian said in the release. “We must get past the polarizing nature of the gun debate and start working together on ways that can reduce gun violence and promote true public safety. As people of faith and conscience, we can’t stand by silently. If we do that, we condone the violence.”

The vigil will include the lighting of candles in memory of all gunshot victims and the voluntary naming of local victims.