WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - While the investigation into the Connecticut school shooting remains open, families are gathering to bury their loved ones. Hundreds of miles away - and closer to our home - residents at Century Village in suburban West Palm Beach held the first local candlelight vigil for the victims. As the search for answers presses on, the grieving and healing does too.
"We want to let the people of Newtown and Sandy Hook know that we are supportive of them even though we're in Florida," said Sydelle banks, a former Connecticut resident.
Banks still has children and grandchildren living just minutes from the scene of the shooting tragedy. She helped organize this vigil. "We're here to pray with them, to mourn with them and to know that we feel their pain."
She lives here now, but like all those lighting a candle - or a flashlight - Tuesday night, her thoughts and prayers are being sent to Newtown, thirteen hundred miles away. A rabbi and priest blessed this moment, as white balloons - one for each victim - were released into the night sky. "To join the souls that were so unexpectedly taken from us," Banks said of the balloons.
Ken Graff lived near Sandy Hook Elementary School for decades. "Usually, you don't hear people talking about Newtown, because most people don't even know where it is," said Graff. He, like the much of the country and the world, is still in shock. "You never expect to hear that."
A powerful moment transcending geographical - and generational - lines. About 250 people were expected at Tuesday night's local vigil. Many of them say they have deep and personal connections to the tragedy in Connecticut.