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Community prays, honors lives lost in Uvalde

Published: May. 28, 2022 at 10:42 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Like many, Valencia Thomas has had a heavy heart this week. She felt nothing but sadness when learning that 19 children and two teachers lost their lives in a mass shooting in a fourth grade classroom Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“There’s a lot that kids won’t get to experience,” Thomas said. “Their parents won’t get to see them graduate, they won’t get to go on family trips, they won’t even get to go to amusement parks and water parks.”

This impacts her personally as she has a granddaughter who’s elementary school aged. Her granddaughter was the first person she thought about when Tuesday’s mass shooting happened.

“My grandbaby doesn’t live with me, but I still pray for her every day,” Thomas said. “I pray for her protection, I pray for anybody she comes in contact with and I pray for her teachers.”

Thomas hosted a community prayer vigil and balloon release Saturday at Sue Haswell Park to honor the 21 lives lost in Uvalde. The event also included prayer and a 21-second moment of silence. Thomas and others prayed for the families impacted, the entire Uvalde community, the country’s leaders and Bryan-College Station.

Event organizer Valencia Thomas believes it's important for the Uvalde community to know that...
Event organizer Valencia Thomas believes it's important for the Uvalde community to know that others around Texas and the country are praying for them.(KBTX's Caleb Britt)

The event organizer believes it’s important for the Uvalde community to know that they’re not alone and that communities around Texas and the country are thinking and praying for them.

Thomas said she hopes that the Bryan-College station community will embrace each other more going forward. On a bigger scale, she said she hopes the country will adopt stricter gun laws, more school security measures and enhanced school counseling.

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