Saturday vigil for Kobe and others

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A candlelight prayer vigil will be held in downtown Suffolk this Saturday to mourn the deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven other people who died in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash in California. The vigil is also open to other people in Suffolk who are mourning loved ones.

The vigil will be held Saturday evening behind the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront hotel, located at 100 E. Constance Road. There will be a candle placement at 6 p.m., followed by the ceremony from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to bring candles and to wear Los Angeles Lakers basketball jerseys and other Lakers apparel, including purple, gold and white clothing.

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This remembrance vigil is being organized by Bishop Wallace M. Johnson and Geral “Bishop” Staten. Staten previously held a Suffolk walk in 2012 with assistance from Bishop Johnson, which was in memory of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American teenager who was fatally shot in 2012 in Florida.

Staten said that it’s important to “professionally honor” Bryant’s legacy and the impact he made on sports, and that the lives of the other victims in the crash also need to be memorialized.

Furthermore, it’s crucial that this Saturday vigil include those in Suffolk who are mourning recently deceased loved ones, according to Staten.

“We don’t want to leave anyone out. Every life is important,” Staten said.

For more information on the Saturday vigil, call Bishop Johnson at 438-9125. For those that wish to donate candles for the event, they can contact Staten through his Facebook profile “JetLag Staten,” or by calling him at 372-7580.