CHARDON, Ohio - In the cold and rain, several hundred people gathered Tuesday night on Chardon Square for a candlelight vigil honoring one year since the shootings at Chardon High School.
The vigil lasted less than a half hour and marked what has been a year of healing for this Geauga County community.
"We need to continue to heal, to get stronger one step, one day at a time," said Chardon Mayor Philip King.
A statement was read from the families of the victims extending their unending thanks for the support of the people of this community.
"It has meant so much for our families to drive throughout Chardon and neighboring communities and see signs, ribbons and words of encouragement," the statement read.
People came for different reasons. Wendy Daugherty was a neighbor of one of the victims.
"Tragic thing that happened, but we all need to stick together and move forward," she said.
Steven Arnold knew all of the victims; he finds comfort in the company of others.
"You see how many people care for such a tragedy it helps, it helps get through everyday," he said.
Also on-hand were the Hale sisters, Nikki and Natalie. Natalie was sitting at a table in the cafeteria of Chardon High School one year ago with one of the shooting victims. Nikki came home Tuesday night from college to be there for little sister.
"I thank God everyday I still have her and I want everybody to know I'm grateful I still have her," said Nikki.
As sisters, they have had each other to help cope this past year, but they are also here because they have had this community behind them.
"If we didn't have them we wouldn't be here, we all need somebody to lean on," Nikki said.