About 60 people attended a candlelight vigil Wednesday at the Islamic Association of Cary to mourn and remember the 132 children and 16 adults killed in Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Most of the attendees were local Muslims, many from Pakistan or with Pakistani roots. But it was a diverse, interfaith crowd as white, black and Indian residents also came to show their support.
Organizer Faisal Khan, expressing the grief shared by many in the crowd, said the attack was “the darkest day for Pakistan.” He also expressed hope that people will find the strength to unite against extremism when they think about the horrific images from that day.
“Since I saw the news around 5:30 in the morning, my life hasn’t been the same,” said Khan, of Durham. “I don’t think it will be.”
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One man told the audience that two family friends lost their only children in the attack. Another said his cousin took part in the counter-attack that killed the terrorists and later told him he couldn’t get the sound of gunshots and screaming children out of his head.
Neal Foster, a local coordinator for the Christian group Peace Catalyst International, said he came to tell the local Pakistani community it isn’t alone.
“There is comfort in God,” he said. “We can look to him, we can be comforted. We can look to each other because God uses us ... to bring that sense of comfort and hope to each other.”