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Photo Essay: Bell tolls mark Orlando loss during vigil

Members of the Milwaukee public came together for an Interfaith Prayer Service of Remembrance & Hope, that was held on June 16 at Milwaukee’s Episcopal cathedral in response to the tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida.

The service of was co-sponsored by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, which offered Scriptural readings, prayers, and reflections that included Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh representatives.

During the service that was attended by more than 350 people, the cathedral’s largest bell tolled once for each of the people who died in Sunday morning’s shooting at a gay night club in Orlando. The 150 year old bell, cast in 1866, rang 49 times.

“Hate will not define us, hate will not destroy us and the outpouring of prayer and support and love that the LGBTQ and the Latino community has received in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history can only and will only strengthen us.” – Debra Trakel, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Director of Client Services, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center

“Truly it is in the remembrance of your mercy and your grace that our hearts find solace. Our hearts ache for those suffering in Orlando. We pray for calm and the end of fear.” – Janan Najeeb, President of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition

“We are here tonight to mourn, to grieve, and to recall our purpose as people of faith, children of God living in a shared community. This act of hatred specifically targeted gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. But make no mistake, it is an assault on all of us who are members of the human family.” – Elana Kahn, Director of Jewish Community Relations, Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

“I think one of the things that the church can do is provide a place for people to come together to mourn, and to pray, and to try to make some sense out of just this incomprehensible act.” – The Very Rev. Kevin Carroll, Dean of All Saint’s Cathedral

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