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Vigil for Oregon shooting victims: ‘We can rise above this pain’

Kristin Sterner, center, a freshman at Umpqua Community College, mourns during an Oct. 1 vigil for shooting victims at the school in Roseburg, Ore.

Kristin Sterner, center, a freshman at Umpqua Community College, mourns during an Oct. 1 vigil for shooting victims at the school in Roseburg, Ore.

(Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images)

Holding candles high in the air and singing “Amazing Grace,” hundreds of Roseburg residents gathered at a city park Thursday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the dead and wounded from the shooting attack at Umpqua Community College.

No family members or victims’ friends spoke at the hastily arranged event, held with the help of donations of supplies from local businesses.

Gov. Kate Brown spoke briefly and said she didn’t know why the shooting happened.

UCC President Rita Cavin told the crowd to keep their anger away: “Anger caused this; we can’t have anger around this minute. ... We can rise above this pain and focus on helping each other.”

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Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice issued a challenge to the mourners. “This is not about the shooter -- I challenge you all to never utter his name.” Instead, he said, it was about the families of those affected.

State Sen. Jeff Kruse said the tragedy would not be a moment for community members to turn inward and become selfish but to help each other.

“This tragedy could be our golden moment, so I want you all to commit to bring us back from this,” he told the crowd.

Follow @mattdpearce on Twitter


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