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Group taking stand with vigil for Newton shooting victims

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Kris Medic of Columbus figures the former Garfield School to be the perfect place for today’s candlelight vigil for victims of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

“For me, the old Garfield School is the symbol of more innocent times,” said Medic, a member of the Columbus Peace Fellowship organizing the nonpartisan, secular gathering at 7 p.m.

Garfield School, now the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. headquarters at 1200 Central Ave. in Columbus, served as an elementary school from 1896 to 1969.

The peace fellowship regularly has taken a stand against violence in various parts of the world. But Interfaith Forum of Columbus organized the most recent anti-violence gathering in September after a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

If you go

WHAT: Nonpartisan, secular, candlelight vigil to remember and honor the victims from the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

WHEN: 7 p.m. today.

WHERE: Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., 1200 Central Ave.

Medic, who has been a part of both groups, said today is meant to be a time “to gather and grieve and stand together in solidarity with people whose lives were touched by the tragedy.”

If weather turns as blustery as forecasts have predicted, Medic said the vigil will be moved from the Cottage Avenue side of the BCSC building to the lower courtyard area of the building.

Medic said she hopes the group gathering tonight can look toward a future that is safer and free of violence for all.

Peace Fellowship member Sarah Grey said the event can help people better process their grief.

“I know mothers and others (here) having great difficulty handling this,” she said. “I think this also helps us say, ‘If things don’t change now, then when exactly will they change?’”

Grey said that, for her, it includes stronger gun laws and more.

“It’s obviously easier in this country to obtain a gun than it is to obtain needed mental health help,” she said.

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