VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach residents are leaning on each other for comfort in the aftermath of Friday’s deadly mass shooting.
The City of Virginia Beach plans to honor all 12 victims later this week at special gathering called "VB Remembers."
News 3 reporter Anthony Sabella spoke with organizers about the program they are putting together.
The sanctuary inside Rock Church was empty Tuesday morning as crews at work inside to prepare the space for thousands to gather and remember, Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
“The event is VB Remembers, and it’s a community gathering and it’s a chance to embrace each other, support each other and to grieve together," said Virginia Beach City Councilman Michael Berlucchi.
Councilman Berlucchi helped to organize the event. Among those in attendance he said will be Governor Ralph Northam, First Lady Pam Northam, Congresswoman Elaine Luria and a number of city leaders.
“We’ll hear words from our vice mayor and our mayor, who led us very capably and continue to lead us very capably through these challenging times," Councilman Berlucchi said.
Officials are expecting the place to be packed with people. The sanctuary at Rock Church holds more than 5,000 people, and they are adding 400 additional chairs to reach maximum capacity.
“Every single person - no matter who you are, what you come from, what you believe - will be welcome at this event," Councilman Berlucchi said.
Berlucchi said the program will feature speakers of all backgrounds, music from Symphonicity-Symphony Orchestra and other local acts – a chance to show the area’s religious and cultural diversity.
Virginia Beach city leaders will read the names of all 12 mass shooting victims to give a chance to honor each and every one who is no longer here with us, but certainly not forgotten.
All members of the public are welcome to attend the event Thursday which will be at 640 Kempsville Road.