SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield joined the expression of grief for the victims of the Orlando Massacre. The Orlando attack took place at a known gay night club.
The Western Massachusetts LGBT community is taking this as an attack on their own. Dozens of people gathered at the south Congregational church for a candle light vigil in Springfield Sunday evening. They told 22News they felt the LGBT community was attacked Sunday.
Amaad Rivera, President of Springfield Pride told 22News, “This is the greatest fear realized, that we can be celebrating with people in our community in spaces that we consider safe and ultimately be gunned down and never be able to get back home. So I think this is the greatest fear of many in our community realized and we have to do something about it.”
People across western Massachusetts came to the vigil Sunday to pay their respect to those who lost their lives in this shooting but some here were touched even more by this shooting, because they had a personal connection.
Derek Cartagna, of Holyoke said, “When you think about people from your hometown moving away to do something with their life or whatever the case may be and something tragic like this happens it’s utterly heartbreaking it really is.”
Stanley Almodovar, originally from Springfield, was one of the 50 people killed in the nightclub shooting. One woman told 22news that the world still has a ways to go when it comes to tolerance.
Mary Sample, of Northampton said, “Back in the 80’s in Oklahoma being gay was a whole different thing. We moved up here to pleasant valley and being gay is easy, it’s not hard. It’s not what it was back in the day. This reminds me of that. It reminds me of two steps forward, three steps back.”
“Springfield Pride” organized Sunday night’s vigil. They hold LGBT events throughout the year.