AMESBURY — Residents, clergy, city officials and police officers are expected to converge Sunday night for a candlelight prayer service at the city’s gazebo off Main Street.
The vigil is meant to be a chance to offer support, and perhaps address festering unease, almost a week after Monday’s fatal Boston Marathon bombings.
Three people were killed and more than 170 people injured, many forever maimed, after two bombs went off in quick succession near the finish line of the nation’s most prestigious and honored marathon. Amesbury High School graduate Remy Lawler was one of those injured when a piece of shrapnel violently tore through her right thigh. Surgery to remove the piece of metal was successful and she is expected to be back home by Sunday.
Co-organizer Rosemary Werner said the vigil will begin at 7 p.m. and feature The Heroes Chorus under the direction of conductor Peggy Doyle. Mayor Thatcher Kezer will speak and police chiefs from Amesbury, Merrimac and Salisbury have been invited to participate. Werner said she is also hoping to attract as many area ministers and priests to take part as well.
“It gives the people in Amesbury a chance to come together and show their support by standing together and by holding a light in the darkness. It shows we care about each other and the people that are hurting,” Werner said.
The Heroes Chorus was formed almost two years ago and was first featured during the city’s 10-year- anniversary event of 9/11 inside Landry Memorial Stadium. Those wishing to join the chorus are asked to arrive by 6:30 p.m. and contact Doyle, according to Werner.
Kezer said Monday’s event touched everyone in Amesbury in some way and it was appropriate to offer a way for residents to express their feelings and exhibit their resilience in the face of such horror.
“We all know someone who was there, part of it or injured,” Kezer said.
Preparations for the city’s candlelight vigil began Wednesday and continues at a frantic pace with Werner being helped by a team of volunteers making phone calls, sending out emails and posting the event on Facebook pages. Werner added there was no way the event could have been arranged so quickly without the help of those gracious enough to volunteer.