ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A candlelight vigil was held Friday evening in Albany to remember those lost to COVID-19 and racial injustice.
Everything from songs, prayer and speakers led the Day of Healing Candlelight Vigil at Mary Young Cummings Memorial Park.
The vigil was hosted by the local nonprofit organization, SOWEGA Rising, and others.
“We are just mourning the lives lost due to COVID-19 and in our Albany community, of course, we were a hot spot but we’re also mourning the lives lost due to racial injustice and police brutality,” said SOWEGA Rising board member Kiana Jackson.
Several Albany and Dougherty County leaders were in attendance.
”Let me say, I was participating in a Facebook forum and in the conclusion, the moderator asked, ‘Well, Mayor Dorough, can you say Black Lives Matter?’ And my response was, ‘all lives matter.' I understand now that was insensitive and disrespectful. My response of course should have been, ‘Certainly, Black Lives Matter,” said Albany Mayor Bo Dorough.
Dorough wasn’t the only person to take the podium. Several others stood up to tell their own and their families’ stories.
One of them was Norma Davis, who spoke about her father’s passing. She said her father died in a hospital after a white man got behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.
“I sat there and watched the man that took away my father’s life get 60 days at the county jail,” said Davis.
“This is our village, this is our support system. It doesn’t matter white, black, old, young, we’re all here to support each other and I hope that people walk away today understanding the pain and mourn what the black community feels when we do see situations like Breonna Taylor, like George Floyd,” said Jackson.
SOWEGA Rising will be hosting a march Saturday that will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Charles Sherrod Civil Rights Park.