Hundreds of grieving community members filled a small gym in Schoharie Wednesday evening for a vigil for the victims of the fatal limo crash.
They came together to bring comfort to one another in the face of unthinkable tragedy. And there was a powerful moment when first responders embraced.
“The healing process doesn’t end on something like this,” Schoharie Fire Chief Marty Pierce said.
It was a vigil for a small town that’s become the site of great loss. Twenty candles shone for each victim; their names were read aloud. Their loved ones stood in silence.
The Loden family was also deeply impacted. They are the owners of the Apple Barrel Country Store where the tragedy unfolded.
“In the worst of times we come together to support each other and really show what this community is about,” Joshua Loden said.
The victims were honored through prayer and song. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul called for justice for their families.
“This community and the grieving family members deserve to have answers,” she said.
And the first responders were recognized with a standing ovation.
“And I look around the room as we were getting applauded and you could see some healing on the face of first responders,” Pierce said.
It was a small measure of comfort to a community forever changed.
“To be able to give them a sliver of appreciation of what we truly do feel for them – I was just really proud that we could show that as a community,” Loden said.
After the vigil, clergy, counselors, and therapy dogs were made available to those looking for support.