OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Hundreds overflowed the White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center Thursday to honor the three victims of Sunday's shootings. What sometimes divides the community brought them together.
United not just beyond but by their beliefs, one pastor remarked of the Jews, Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths sitting in the audience, "But this place always looks like this!"
The Jewish Community Center has become a place for much more than just the Jewish community. In one of the most striking moments, clergy members from across several faiths and several parts of Kansas City gathered on stage in support of each other.
A reverend and priest spoke on behalf of the victims' families. A few miles away during the service, the LaManno family was at Teresa LaManno's funeral.
The mother and daughter of Reat Underwood and William Corporon, Mindy Corporon, couldn't yet be at the community center, days after finding them both there. She had arrived moments after the tragedy.
Amid comforting words and prayers, sounds of different faiths moved the crowd. The ending song brought the auditorium to its feet and neighbors putting their arms around each other. Many swayed to a song they had never heard.
"I hadn't ever experienced something like that before," Janna Oliver said. "It was very uplifting."
"The embrace of one of the Jewish people that held me, I just felt so connected," Jo Ann Herron said. "I felt that God was in our midst and that he does love us."