WASHINGTON (WJZ)—The tragedy in Newtown is cutting America to the core. There have been many other memorials in cities across the country, including one at the Tenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

Derek Valcourt has reaction at an emotional vigil held for the victims.

The church is one of hundreds across the country responding to President Barack Obama’s call for prayer in the wake of this national tragedy.

Nichole Vasquez grieves for families she has never met. Her own 5-year-old is foremost in her mind.

“I couldn’t imagine that happening. I picked my daughter up from school that day early. I couldn’t imagine it,” Vasquez said.

The horror that happened in Newtown, Conn. spurred prayers in almost every Sunday service across America.

“It is with our hope in our God that we call upon him to console the hearts of those who have suffered tremendous, tremendous loss,” said Rev. Patrick Walker, Baptist Convention of D.C.

The faithful say it’s the power of prayer that guides them through some of the most unthinkable tragedies.

“When there is profound grief like this, prayer refocuses. We have a tendency to become angry and bitter and retaliatory,  and prayer reminds us again that there is a greater power, there’s a greater purpose and a greater reason,” said Pastor A.C. Durant, Tenth Street Baptist Church.

They know they may never understand God’s plan and realize it may be even harder for the family members of the Connecticut victims.

“I’m sure they can’t pray. They are asking God why? So at least if they know people are out there standing with them in prayer, it makes a difference,” said Rev. Sindile Dlamini.

“Because when something tragic happens you want to reach out.  If there’s nothing else you can do you can always pray,” said Jamie Black, grandmother.

Vasquez’ prayer is her humble gift to those who have experienced such a horrible loss in a season meant for giving.

“I know there’s nothing we can do for the family, but if we can pray for them, everyone’s here for them and their kids,” Vasquez said.

Also not forgotten in the many prayers is the family of the shooter.


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