ROSS TOWNSHIP — People in Monroe County gathered for a healing service at the Ross Township Park Thursday night
The park is right next to the municipal building where a gunman opened fire on the township supervisors meeting, one month ago to the day.
Members of the religious community were invited to speak to the crowd, hoping to bring a sense of closure to the tragedy and a feeling of peace.
“Although there is a physical emptiness and senseless tragedy that has taken place, I believe that the love of god shall never end,” said one pastor.
One after the one, religious leaders from the community here in the Poconos spoke to those who had come out seeking relief from pain and grief.
This prayer service comes just one month to the day when a gunman opened fire on the Ross Township Supervisors meeting, held at municipal building just yards away from the park where the prayer service was held.
The August 5th tragedy claimed three lives and injured two others; police arrested Rockne Newell for the shooting.
Many here became emotional during the hour-long service.
“It’s a building block for the healing process, it’s going to work, it’s helpful, you know, that is it,” said Rich Bauer.
“It’s a sad thing, we’ve raised our children here 20 years, it’s hard to accept, but,” said Charlotte Supple.
“To identify with those who are struggling, who are broken because of the tragedy,” said another pastor.
Organizers of this prayer service felt the community could find solace in getting religious ministry.
Those who came and listened said they felt a sense of peace.
“It was so heartwarming that I was so glad I was here, I was so glad they did it,” said Mark Hayford.
“When I first got here I was hurting a lot and at this time I feel a lot better,” said Tammi Flowers.
And the event wasn’t to remember a tragedy, but to honor and pray for the three men lost to it.
The victims, David Fleetwood, the Ross Township Zoning Officer, Gerard Kosic, who was considering running for a supervisor position and James LaGuardia, who may be gone but not forgotten.
“Let’s look at them as public servants, public servants, human beings that are out there, in this case they gave their life,” said Flowers.
Organizers of this event say the annual Community Day in Ross Township is coming up on Saturday September 14th and will be held at that same park.
They held this event to give the community another chance to grieve before that celebration.