Vigil for Victims of Attack in New Zealand

STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- As the sun set in Stroudsburg there was a gathering of respect and solidarity.

Members of the Stroudsburg community came out in full force to support their brothers and sisters of the Islamic faith.

The outpouring of support comes in the wake of a mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand just one week ago.

"I was angry, I was sad and I didn't know what to do. I saw vigils taking place in New Zealand and Australia, and I kind of felt helpless that I wasn't in a position, or I couldn't do anything," said Taha Vahanvaty.

Taha Vahanvaty is a sophomore at Stroudsburg High School. He took his anger and sadness and used it to gather his community.

"Once we accept this is not only a Muslim issue or a Jewish issue or a Christian issue or a black issue or a white issue, and start treating this as a human race issue, I think from there we can take concrete steps from there to create change," Vahanvaty said.

While gatherings like this are somber in nature, those in attendance tonight say that the outpouring they see from the community in times of tragedy just goes to show how strong they are together.

"We have local Buddhist leaders here, the Rabbi is here, we have Unitarians, Christians, all types of people here today, so it's really a sign of hope that we can come together," said Cynthia Crowner of Stroudsburg.

Leaders from religious groups, the NAACP and Monroe County United were all there and spoke about acceptance and supporting those who may be different, but in many ways the same.

"Good books tell us how we should love all walks of life on this earth, that is how we should be living. All religions teach and preach to love thy neighbor," said Thomas Jones.

And as their Muslim neighbors prayed their evening prayers, dozens gathered around them to show their love and acceptance.

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