CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – People in the Charleston community came together today to honor and show their respects for the lives lost in Buffalo, New York and Orange County, California, all on behalf of West Virginia.

Candles, flowers, and words of prayer, all sit at the vigil on Virginia and Central Avenue and event organizers in Charleston say all of the recent, racially targeted events should be wake-up calls to every community.

“We have to take a stand and fight against that and Charleston could be next. You never think it’s going to happen in your hometown, but I mean it can happen anywhere,” says Martec Washington, one of the organizers of the event.

Many people wrote personal words on the banner and others wanted to sign words on behalf of West Virginia. There was also prayer and a moment of silence during the event – which attendees said the community needed.  

“Everyone feels like your communities are divided, but this truly shows that it’s not. All of us came out for the same purpose and we are heartbroken for what has happened. Not because of the color of people’s skin, but just because they were human beings that were shot for no reason,” explained Danita Haley, a Charleston resident.

For anyone who missed the event and would like to sign the banner, organizers say it will remain on Virginia and Central Avenue until the end of the week.