Over a hundred Hoboken residents attended a vigil in front of City Hall to stand in unity with the victims of the Orlando massacre yesterday.
“We are here to stand together as a community both to heal and to show our support for our LGBT community. This was an attack on the LGBT community and an attack on our core values of inclusiveness and equality,” stated Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Men from different faiths also stood up against hate yesterday.
Rev. Gregory Morgan of All Saints Episcopal Parish, Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of United Synagogue of Hoboken and Shayan Farooqi from the Jersey City Islamic Learning Center, all prayed for unity, strength and peace.
“Over the last 1,400 years, Islam has a long history of protecting the vulnerable and voiceless. We are here to turn this stone into a mountain of love, to turn this ripple into a flood of understanding and to turn this candle into the brightest moonlight under which we can all walk together,” proclaimed Farooqi.
Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla, who was recently called a terrorist for being Sikh, shared a phrase from his daily prayer about “oneness.”
“In the Sikh tradition, there is no other, there is no distinction between race religion gender cast, sexual orientation, skin color. We are all one.”
Also during the vigil, the first LGBT councilman of Hoboken, 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco referred Orlando’s tragedy as today’s “Stonewall.”
“To those young lives lost on Saturday night, dancing laughing and discovering themselves, you are not forgotten. Your lives ended suddenly and tragically, but we continue to move the dial forward, using your memory as our generation’s Stonewall.”
One of the last speakers was an LGBT community activist who challenged lawmakers on the right to bear arms.
The vigil concluded with “America the Beautiful.”
Hoboken is the second Hudson County city to show their support for Orlando this week, as Jersey City hosted a massive 3,000 person vigil at the Newark Pedestrian Plaza on Tuesday night.