There was standing room only at the Uvalde County Fairgrounds for a vigil in memory of the 19 children and two school teachers who were fatally shot on Tuesday. Three religious leaders preached and led the mourners in prayer.
The stands, which hold some 1,400 visitors, filled as more community members, journalists and law enforcement officers entered the earthen arena. The line through the doors apparently never stopped.
Note:- my response read full article Uvalde gathers in tears and prayers to mourn victims of school shooting.
Volunteers offered free water and soft drinks as people entered.
Angel Alarcon of Mission Point Church in San Antonio was one such volunteer. He said his friend Benito Pedraza lives in Uvalde and his son attends the high school that was closed in the Robb Elementary School shooting.
"Yesterday I could tell you, I couldn't believe it," Pedraza said. "I was at home, lying in my bed, knowing that one of the children we know is still missing. And hoping beyond hope that he might still be there and find out this morning that he was one of the victims."
Just inside the gates, other K-9 Crisis Response volunteers donated dogs to calm the bereaved. Golden retrievers like Joy and Abner comforted the children.
Inside the arena, religious leaders offered words of comfort.
“I cried a lot. I cried a lot today and yesterday,” said a pastor. “And maybe I will cry a little more.
He read Psalm 46 from the Bible, which begins: “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in difficulties”. Another pastor read the same verse and gave a message in Spanish.
Members of the media have been asked not to interview mourners in the stadium stands. The event, organizers said, would also not focus on politics.