Red Bank Offers Prayers For Slain Officers, Civilians

first_imgStory and photos by John BurtonRED BANK – There were no speeches or out-of-town elected officials on Sunday as community members gathered again to offer prayers and silent reflection for the victims and families, and hopes for a time when these vigils would not be needed.In the aftermath of last week’s horrific events that left five police dead, along with two officers and two civilians injured in a Dallas, Texas shooting, which was preceded by two shootings of black men by white police officers, in Louisiana and Minnesota, Mayor Pasquale Menna sent a message last weekend seeking another vigil for the community to again come together.“It’s the right thing to do,” Menna said on Sunday evening about the quickly organized vigil held at the borough’s Veterans Memorial on the corner of Monmouth Street and Drummond Place.A crowd of about 50 or 60 convened at the monument, joined by Borough Council members, a contingent of Red Bank Police, including Chief Darren McConnell and an ecumenical group of clergy from the area.True to his word, Menna said there would be no speeches, and clergy members offered brief prayers and voiced wishes that things would get better.“We must have that sense of hope,” said the Rev. Janet Jones, a borough resident who also serves on the Red Bank Board of Education.“There is a darkness in our world,” with the number of terrible, violent acts that have been occurring, observed the Rev. Terrence K. Porter, pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, 172 Shrewsbury Ave., but Porter in his prayers asked God to “light the candle of hope in each of us.”Following the singing of “God Bless America” led by Cantor Gabrielle Clissold of Monmouth Reform Temple, Tinton Falls, participants lit candles, with members lighting the candles for each other among the quiet crowd.Along with the lighting of the candles, three young members of the community laid three floral wreaths at the monument. According to Menna, the floral arrangements were to honor the memory of the fallen police officers, victims of senseless violence everywhere and to wish for peace in our hearts and country.“We do this too often,” Porter acknowledged sadly, referencing previous ones, especially the most recent last month conducted by borough officials and another hosted by Pilgrim Baptist, following the fatal shootings in Orlando, Florida.last_img

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