Kingman has interfaith memorial service for Orlando shooting victims

More than two dozen people attended a local memorial service on Sunday for the victims of the Orlando tragedy. The service began with a welcome from Rev. Ben Rodenbeck, deacon of Trinity Episcopal Church. He acknowledged those in attendance by thanking them for making it to the church despite the heat wave.

A special music selection was introduced by Fr. Leonard Walker of Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church. He presented the number by saying it was "in honor of our Latino brothers and sisters." The song, "Un Dia A La Vez," or "one day at a time," is traditionally played at Hispanic funerals. The lyrics printed in English and Spanish was part of the program distributed at the beginning of the service.

Pastor Paul Pitts, retired U.S. Air Force Chaplain, read a selection from the letter of Paul to the Romans. That reading instructs followers to "not repay anyone evil for evil..." It continues with the words of God, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay ... if your enemies are hungry feed them."

"There obviously was a need for all of you to come out today for this service," said Fr. Leonard. "The situation in Orlando had to have touched each one of you in some way to journey here in this terrible heat."

Chaplain Paul showed a video presentation of the Song "Pulse" which included names, photos, and ages of each victim. The song was written as a tribute to the 49 victims of the mass murder that occurred at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12.

Kingman clergy organized the memorial service to pay respect to those who lost their lives in the nation's worst mass shooting in modern times. The prayers during the service conveyed a message of peace, respect, forgiveness and tolerance. Toward the end of the service the lights in the church were dimmed. Small white candles were lit and held by the attendees as the names of each of the victims were read by Fr. Leonard. During the reading of the names, Pastor Paul rang a memorial bell.

The service ended with an invitation to meet in the church hall for refreshment.

A packet including condolences is being prepared and will be sent to Orlando. The message expressed is although Kingman is 2,200 miles from Orlando, we are one as Americans dealing with tragedy.