Hoosiers hold candlelight vigil for shooting victims

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It's a sentiment expressed around the world. Tonight, people gathered in Tipton, Indiana for a candlelight vigil in honor of the shooting victims. Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Rader learned how this loss in Connecticut hits home right here in Indiana.

The gazebo at the Tipton City Park was illuminated by Christmas lights but the mood was anything but festive. Patrick Lancaster, a local businessman in Tipton, got the idea.

"From Tipton, Indiana, another small town, we want to show our support for them," he told those huddled together.

A few people gathered Saturday night with candles in hand to shed some light in the darkness.

Even Kim Drake a local minister found himself at a loss for words at times during the opening prayer. 

"Behold children are a gift of the lord," he said as at least ten small children listened in. 

While the pain of the tragedy has swept the country, it has hit teachers particularly hard.

"I am a teacher as well. I have been blessed with four amazing children of my own and then I am blessed every day to be with 130 amazing kids."

Debby Carter has taught 6th grade in Tipton for the last seven years. As we listened to her, her young daughter looked on.

"To know the sacrifice a lot of my fellow teachers went through to protect those students and all those amazing parents I get to deal with every day. All of those parents, all of those sacrifices that were made. You hate that it brings you closer together in this way but there is such an appreciation for those who showed their true character."

More than a few children participated in the ceremony. Signing songs, writing notes on the poster boards that will be delivered to the town of Newtown, Connecticut. Parents and teachers should be prepared for questions, the experts tell us, especially if the children have been exposed to media coverage of the event.

Kimble Richardson is a licensed mental health counselor at St Vincent Stress Center in Indianapolis.

"In fact you might even anticipate what the conversation might be. Even here in Indianapolis on the way to school, could this happen? Do you really need to leave? Do I have to get on the bus today? You could talk about it even today, tomorrow, prior to Monday morning."

When the vigil concluded Debby Carter reflected on what is to come.

"I'm just very grateful to be able to go home and hold my children and I get to go to school and see my students."

Monday will be a big day for parents and teachers a like all over America but for now the goal is to just get through today.