Tinsel and Tutus @ Reynolds Performance Hall — 12/12/13
12/12 — The Conway Symphony Orchestra entertained with Christmas music, including highlights from The Nutcracker performed by the Arkansas Festival Ballet.
Prayer vigil Wednesday night
The Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, 214 E. Eighth St. Chattanooga, will hold a prayer vigil Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. for the children killed in Monday's wreck and for the community that is grieving their loss. The Rev. J. David Carter, rector of the Basilica, will preside. All other clergy from the Chattanooga area are invited to attend. This is an open and ecumenical gathering, and all who are seeking consolation during this time of tragedy are invited.
While coming to grips with the bus crash that left five children dead Monday afternoon, more than 600 people packed into New Monumental Baptist Church on Tuesday night to sing, pray and weep.
Parents, teachers, grandparents and children crowded into the church until there was barely room to stand, heaving and throbbing in a deafening chorus of mourning. Between impassioned prayers from local religious leaders, the choir roared through one gospel song after another.
Brenda Adamson-Cothran, principal of Woodmore Elementary School, was one of the first to speak and one of many who fought back tears through the evening.
"Our hearts are broken. I told a student today you have every right to feel everything you're feeling right now," she said.
"We will grieve together and we will honor our children's lives. For them, we must be strong."
Political leaders also spoke to show solidarity with the grieving families, Woodmore Elementary and the faith community. As they did after the slayings of five service members in the July 16 shootings last year, they pledged whatever support and resources are at their disposal to help those directly affected.
"There's nothing more hopeful we do as a community than send our kids to school," Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said. "At the end of the day, there's nothing more joyful than to welcome them home.
"For those whose deaths we mourn, the hearts and minds of those children must not be defined by Talley Road [where the incident occurred]."
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger also spoke to the crowd, offering their condolences, prayers and support.
"I'm here for only one reason, and that is to share your pain," Corker said.
Less than a day after the crash, signs of support for the families cropped up immediately throughout the community.
A speaker announced that the "homegoing celebrations" for the children had already been taken care of and the crowd was encouraged to give to the Woodmore Fund, started by United Way and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga to support the families.
At the conclusion of the service, the speakers prayed for strength and peace for the night and the long days ahead. The families of the deceased were the first to leave, and as they recessed down the aisles, they hugged friends with tears in their eyes.
As requested by a family member, the congregation lifted the families up one more time by singing, "Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so."
Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at email@example.com or 423-757-6731. Follow on Twitter @emmettgienapp.
Woodmore Elementary school bus crash
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- Despite Woodmore crash, Hamilton County likely will extend contract with same bus company
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- Sixth Woodmore bus crash lawsuit targets bus manufacturer]
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- Woodmore Fund begins to help families affected by fatal bus crash in Chattanooga
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- Durham claims it wasn't aware of all complaints against driver in deadly bus crash [photos]
- Chattanooga school bus driver refuses to speak with investigators in fatal crash probe
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- Second family files negligence lawsuit in connection with deadly bus crash
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- Zyaira Mateen, 6: The girl who loved to read and dance
- D'myunn Brown: Six-year-old remembered as smart, funny
- Zyanna Harris, 10: Girl had energy and spunk
- Cor'Dayja Jones, 9: Fourth-grader was sweet and shy
- Keonte Wilson, 8: Rambunctious boy was youngest of four
- Zoie Nash, 9: She was cheerful and laid-back
- In the wake of the fatal bus crash, Chattanooga stands strong
- Cook: The Hallelujahs of Woodmore Strong
- Tennessee law caps damages for Woodmore victims, families
- Bus driver in fatal crash told school employee 'he did not care about the students,' school records show
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- Community gives $112,000 to families of children killed in bus crash
- Parents say they warned district employees before crash that bus driver drove too fast and was reckless
- Life-saving stability control mandatory in new cars but not required for school buses [video]
- A sixth child in Woodmore bus crash has died
- NTSB says Talley Road not on designated route for bus in fatal crash
- First lawsuit filed in connection with Monday's fatal bus crash
- Local agencies launch fund for families of school bus crash victims
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- Families mourn Woodmore Elementary students killed in school bus crash
- Tragedy leaves many area first responders emotionally scarred
- Local lawmakers favor push for mandatory seat belts on school buses
- Community gathers at prayer vigil for victims of fatal school bus accident
- Neighbors recount moments following Monday's fatal crash, say driver had reputation for speeding
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- A nation reacts to Monday's school bus crash tragedy
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