Friday marks the first official day of winter. And on the day of the year where there’s the least light, Bloomington religious leaders sought to add some with a remembrance of those killed in last week’s school shooting in Connecticut. Friday also marked a nationwide remembrance of those who died while homeless.
At 9:30 a.m. Friday, bells tolled. Later, candles were lit and songs sung, all to remember those who’d died.
Retired Methodist Preacher Joe Emerson told the assembled crowd at Bloomington’s First United Methodist Church the day has other implications people should reflect on.
“You don’t realize how this really hits you until the first time you go into one of these services,” Emerson says. “And see how small the casket is, holding these little children who never even had a chance to live.”
Shalom Center Executive Director Forest Gilmore’s message focused on a number of national challenges he says require togetherness to overcome.
“People lose about 30 years off of their life through long term homelessness,” he says. “We’ve seen that in the clients and people on the street who’ve died in the past year.”
In Bloomington the names of nine homeless dead were read during the program.