Carean Dendy, member of Tupelo's First United Methodist Church and organizer of the event, distributed her church's set of hand bells to the attendants. After a prayer, Dendy read the 26 names of the shooting victims – 20 children and six staff members of the school – while the crowd chimed their bells once with each name.
Dendy said she put the word out on Facebook about the event yesterday morning, where it spread quickly and received numerous responses.
"This tragedy has effected the whole nation, and community support is vital," Dendy said. "We always think these things will happen somewhere else, but seeing this list of names makes it real."
For more on this story, See Saturday's NEMS Daily Journal.