Lee Co. teen holds vigil for victims of school massacre - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. teen holds vigil for victims of school massacre

LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

One by one, the names of each victim killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were read aloud at a Victims' Memorial in Leesburg Sunday night.

Lee County ninth grader Draven Oakes felt compelled to do something for the victims of last Friday's school shooting massacre.

"I was just like shocked that those kids wouldn't be able to spend Christmas with their family because of one bad deed that someone could have done," says Oakes.

That's when he decided to organize a memorial to paid tribute to the victim's, their families, and the small community to Newtown, Connecticut.

"He step up. He coordinated it. He got everybody together. I was excited somebody so young expressed so much interest in it. And was so hurt by it that he thought he needed to show some love for it," says Mayor of Leesburg Jim Quinn.

The memorial, held in the middle of downtown Leesburg, welcomed members of the community to honor the lives of those taken too soon in a town that's not so different from the small town in Lee County.

"It's very similar towns, communities. It could have been us," says Quinn.

"Their loss is our loss. The loss of innocence in their community is a loss of innocence in our community. A threat of fear in their world, is a threat of fear in our world," says pastor of Leesburg United Methodist Church Mike Lyons.

Candles were lit in remembrance of the children and teachers who are now a cherished memory in the eyes of so many.

"I didn't think little 5, 6, and 7 year olds shouldn't have had to go through that and shouldn't have had to died that young," says Oakes.

City leaders gave words of encouragement to a community in mourning.

"W don't have 26 funerals in months in Leesburg. For a town to have that many in a matter of days, it's terrible for them," says Quinn.

Those that gathered for the service hope their prayers will reach the families who will now spend the holidays grieving.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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