Republicans and Democrats join in Bedford for vigil of prayer, unity

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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) People in Bedford came together Friday to pray for those injured during last week's shooting of a congressional leader in Northern Virginia.

Members of the Republican Party of Bedford County invited their counterparts in the local Democrat party to join them at a vigil in Bedford's Centertown Park Friday afternoon.

Both sides gathered for more than an hour, hoping to show that people with differing viewpoints can disagree respectfully. As they shared opposing viewpoints with one another, the partisan groups worked to extend an olive branch of civility and understanding.

"Our neighbors who don't necessarily think the way we do on every issue are still our friends," said Nate Boyer, chairman of the Republican Party of Bedford County. "They're still our neighbors. We all live here. What effects one of us effects all of us."

Organizers say they hope Friday's meeting will open up a new dialogue between members of the two political parties.