WARREN (Erie News Now) – A glimmer of light in the darkness as community members gathered in front of First United Methodist Church in Warren on Thursday for a candlelight vigil to remember two local high school students took their own lives this week.
“Their lives were important. They did touch so many people, and it’s sad they didn’t realize that,” said Meghann Chapman.
“I wish we didn’t have to have a tragedy for people to realize we need to love each other,” said Julie Fofana. She and Chapman are both moms of teenage daughters. They tell us their girls have had a difficult time grasping the loss of their classmates.
“It just seems so much harder being a kid now, too. There’s so many more factors now, like social media and all of that,” said Chapman.
This gathering to also show the hundreds of kids in Warren County they’re not alone. “The message of taking care of ourselves and taking care of each other and finding support systems. I think all of that is really important.” Aaron Reinardt is a pastor in Warren.
For him, seeing the outpouring of love brings a lot of hope.
“I hope they know they’re cared for. I hope they know they’re loved. I hope they know there’s a lot of people that are here for them and want to care for them,” said Reinardt.
In lighting these candles, the community hopes these young people take home a big message. “As the wind blew, and people’s candles went out other people were quick to relight them, and in life that’s true too. We’re supposed to take care of each other and come alongside each other and light each other’s candles,” said Reinardt.