Since the horrific shooting massacre on Friday, communities all across northern Michigan are coming together to hold special remembrance ceremonies and vigils for the victims and their families.
Monday night more than 50 Manistee community members gathered for a candlelight vigil near the City's Marina Park.
26 candles illuminated the night sky in downtown Manistee Monday night, one for each of the 20 innocent children and six adults who lost their lives in the horrific shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Pastor David Taylor says, "My first reaction was to cry. My heart went out to the people there because I have a grandson who is in kindergarten; it could have been him..."
Manistee resident William Garcia says, "I was devastated, just sat on the end of my bed, just cried, I couldn't believe it... "
Three days after the tragedy and hundreds of miles away this northern Michigan community is overwhelmed by sorrow and pain.
Diane Miller organized the Vigil in Manistee, she says, "I try to wrap my mind around the whole thing, I canâ??t even image what the parents family and first responders are going through..."
As they struggle to make sense of the unimaginable, the Manistee community comes together to show their support for those struggling in Newtown, Connecticut.
Teresa Dockham was visiting Manistee and says, "We care and your not alone... the whole country is behind you 100%."
Pastor Taylor says, "We are one nation, under God and we'll always pull together. We'll always be there for one another no matter how many miles we are apart.â??
After lighting candles and saying prayers, the vigil ended with the release of 26 white balloons in memory of each victim.
As the road to healing and recovery is only just beginning, those who came are reflecting on their own lives and focusing on what matters most.
Teresa Dockham says, "Don't take life for granted, hug them a little extra everyday, no matter what!"