Volunteers Paint LAFAYETTE Sign In Preparation For Candlelight Vigil
Community volunteers got busy this morning painting the LAFAYETTE sign in Parc Sans Souci in preparation for the candlelight vigil tonight to honor the Orlando victims.
Joshua Young (one of the organizers of the vigil) posted this photo of the sign being painted by volunteers.
We reached out to Joshua on Facebook, and asked what prompted him to create this event. Joshua replied that, when he heard of the tragedy, he felt that he needed to do something for the victims. "Watching the news unfold hit me in the gut" Joshua said. "I normally do not get involved with events like this, but this hit home. I made a promise in my heart that I will help be a voice for Orlando."
Joshua made contact with a few other key people, including Tara Guy, Alexander Roussel, and Que Noel, and they made the decision to hold a vigil, bringing the community together as a whole, including groups like Acadiana Pride and Rainbow Radio, who both are helping with the event.
When I asked him what he wanted people to take from the vigil, in one word, his answer was "unity". "Ours is a message of unity" Joshua said. "When we are faced with a tragedy, we need to remember that we can't respond to hate with hate. We must respond with love." Joshua goes on to explain the message he hopes that the vigil sends: "Bringing the community together as one sends a huge message that all of us, whether gay or straight, will unite, we will be strong, we will not fear, and we will not let hate overcome."
Even Joshua's sister, Cissi, took notice of Joshua's efforts, praising him on Facebook:
I just have to say that I have an amazing brother! He's dropped everything to make sure the victims in Orlando, as well as Louisiana and America have a voice. No it's not just about the gay community, but it was the gay community that was targeted this time. I love you lil bro! Keep being awesome! Melba - Cissi - Young Broussard, Facebook
At the end of our quick interview, I asked Joshua if there was anything else he would like to add. He responded in the affirmative: "Yes, I would like to add that our community is amazing. They have really made me proud to be a part of it. Their support has been amazing."
The vigil is scheduled for 7:30 tonight at Parc Sans Souci, Downtown Lafayette. David Daquin will be the master of ceremonies. You are asked to wear yellow (not mandatory), bring candles, friends and family.
Even singer/songwriter Jason Mraz, who has a concert at the Acadiana Center for the Arts tonight, is showing his support by posting a photo of himself on Facebook as the "Y" in freshly-painted Lafayette: