WINNIPEG – About 100 people held candles on a sub-zero Winnipeg night Monday to remember one of the victims of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
With prayers, aboriginal drumming, and silent reflection, the crowd paid tribute to Ana Marquez-Greene, a six-year-old girl who spent three years in Winnipeg along with her family before they moved south earlier this year.
Ana’s mother, Nelba Marquez-Greene, was a therapist at the University of Winnipeg.
Ana’s father, Jimmy Greene, taught music at the University of Manitoba.
Family friend Alys-Lynne West said the family’s home in Winnipeg was always filled with music and dance.
West and her husband, Steve West, spoke with Nelba Marquez-Greene earlier Monday.
“She and the family just appreciate so much the outpouring of support and love from around the world,” Steve West said.
“Along with their strong faith and their friendships … that’s what’s really making the difference for them.”
Ana’s parents have posted a video online of the girl and her older brother, Isaiah. She is seen singing the hymn “Come Thou Almighty King” while Isaiah plays piano. Both children appear wide-eyed with excitement.
“Nelba and Jimmy ask this of us — share this (video) far and wide. Let the world know the victims, not the shooter,” Alys-Lynne West told the vigil.
Isaiah was also at the elementary school when the shooting erupted last week, but was not injured.
He is hoping some of his former school friends in Winnipeg might fly to Connecticut to attend his sister’s funeral. Alys-Lynne West received some good news on that front shortly after doing a television interview Monday.
“I received a phone call from a woman in Ontario who had seen the interview and wants to help by donating her air points for these children,” she said.
A second vigil in Winnipeg is planned for Tuesday night at the University of Manitoba.