CHARDON, Ohio -- The people of Chardon gathered on the town square Saturday night to remember the victims of Monday's shooting at Chardon High School and to show support for their families.
"My heart goes out to every one of them, just our prayers are with them, all of them," said Phil Tedeschi.
The vigil, which was organized on Facebook by Chardon High alumni, was also a chance for residents to show pride in the way their town has responded to the tragedy.
"We just love our community, and everything that happened has devastated everybody,” said Maggie Weaver, “and it just means a lot to everyone."
Even though they cannot comprehend what drove shooting suspect T.J. Lane to allegedly kill three students and wound two others, residents seemed determined to find a ray of hope in the midst of such overwhelming sadness.
"I am so touched by the love that is being expressed here and that the community has not chosen to wallow in hate and revenge, but to understand the really important things in life," said Pamela Princehouse.
And in a way, the heartbreaking events of Monday have forged a bond between residents, students at Chardon High and Hilltopper alumni.
"You know a lot of people said this was going to tear our town apart, and I'm sorry if I get emotional, this has brought our community together, you know it has reconnected each and every one of us,” said Debora Saunt. “It has re-enforced the love we knew this community had for one another, and just re-enforced telling everybody that you know what, we're here no matter what and we're strong, and we will go on."