Group holds candlelight vigil for George Floyd and others at War Memorial

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 11:31 PM EDT
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Monday night, dozens gathered at Virginia Tech’s War Memorial to honor George Floyd and other lives lost at the hands of police.

The group gathered standing in unity with the Black Lives Matter movement with hope to spread their message throughout the community.

“A lot of people are angry about what’s going on, but we also need to remind the world that we’re also very sad about what’s going on,” said Deja Stewart.

Stewart said they chose the War Memorial because of all of the names of alumni etched in the pylons of those who died in war. She said they wanted to honor those and folks who died by police.

“Even though we lost those lives we’re also here to uplift them and remember their name. They were human, too; they were Americans as well,” said Devin Lanier.

They uplifted them through candlelight and, one by one, names read aloud to the crowd. Rain intensified throughout the vigil.

“This is really just our mood. This rain isn’t just it’s in the forecast, really this is very appropriate for this vigil,” said Bryanna Young. “We live through this every day and we are mad every single day, we are saddened every single day.”

They passed along a message of strength.

“Even though we’re not blood related to some of the victims, this still hits close to home and they’re still part of our community,” Lanier said. “We want them to know that even in Christiansburg, Blacksburg, the New River Valley, we feel that and we want them to know that we feel that pain and we share that pain.”

And they left folks with a reminder of the importance of voting, especially in local elections.

“We hope that this can give us some sort of healing and some sort of positive redirection of energy,” Lanier said.

“We’re trying to help you help yourself and help this country, so help us help you and help our communities,” Young said.

The organizing group said they’re not done yet and will continue to have their voices heard on these topics.

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