JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - As the nation mourns the victims in the Tragedy at Sandy Hook, the City of Jonesboro, and those in surrounding communities, came together Monday night to honor those children, men and women who were killed Friday morning.
Community leaders led a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Craighead County Courthouse to remember those 26 people who were killed in Newtown, Connecticut.
"We thank you for your hearts, your generosity, your good will towards all those people in Connecticut," Pam Herring told the crowd. For Herring and many others, the Tragedy at Sandy Hook hits close to home.
"We know what they've been through. We know what they're going through. We know where they'll be in years to come," Herring said.
Many others reflected on the Westside Tragedy as well.
"I had a couple of friends who were actually there when it happened...and it still weighs on my mind," Ashley Berry told Region 8 News.
She attended the vigil with friends to drop off teddy bears and stand together as a community to remember those who lost their lives in Newtown, Connecticut.
Community and church leaders led the group in prayer and song to honor the 20 children and 6 adults who were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary Friday morning.
"While no two instances are the same, as one of these communities that has experienced the same horror of school shootings, I do believe, for better or for worse, there is an unfortunate kinship and a tie that binds us all together," Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin said. He read from a letter that he will be sending to the mayor of Newtown.
That's not all that will be headed to Newtown from Jonesboro. Before, during and after the vigil, more and more community members dropped off teddy bears, cards and letters. These will be sent to the grieving community in hopes that some comfort can be passed along to the children and others affected by the Tragedy at Sandy Hook.
"Regardless of what happened," Berry said, "there are always people who are going to care, that will show their love, support and compassion."
At the vigil, thirty 42-gallon bags were filled from all of the teddy bears and stuffed animals donated. Area businesses will be collecting stuffed toys to send to Newtown until Wednesday.
Here's a list of some of the locations across Region 8 accepting donations:
Westside Middle School
Valley View Jr. High
The Forum Theater
Weiner Public Library
Nettleton Jr. High
J. Christopher Toys