LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It was an effort to make sense of a tragedy, as East Texans of multiple faiths gathered to pray for healing in the wake of violence and death in Pittsburgh.
Longview's Temple Emanu-El hosted the 'Tree of Life remembrance' for those whose lives were lost in the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Christians. Jewish. Islamic. Buddhists. All came together at Temple Emanu-El with a single purpose.
"Academically we are all human beings and we grieve and pain and bleed in the same way. And it's extremely important as human beings that we stand with one another," says Imam Kamil Mufti of the Islamic center of Longview.
“It gave us a place to be together, I think everybody brought their best today,” said Woodie Terrell a member of First Christian church.
"Show up to witness that we are a human family. I think so many of our traditions all speak to that. To the oneness when broken apart, and we are called to participate in the healing of it," said Reverend Ryan Mails of St. Micheals and All Saints.
Prayers were offered and periods of silence. And the names of those lost in Pittsburgh and in other mass killings were read.
"We're more the same than we are different. and that's what this speaks to today, we're more the same," says Susan Netecke of Pathway church.
The intent was not only to support the Jewish community but to overcome fear with faith.
“We stand against hate, we stand against intolerance because this affects all religious groups,” Mufti says.
"Our commonality is greater than anything we disagree upon," Netecke says.
The event was organized through the Longview Interfaith council.