NEWPORT, R.I (WPRI) — When Pastor Paul Hoffman woke up on Friday to the news of the massacre in Dallas, he knew he had to do something.
Hoffman was the man behind the prayer service held outside Newport City Hall Friday afternoon. “I felt like it’d be a healing thing to have people gather and pray for our country,” he said.
Dozens of people gathered to pray not only for the victims of assault in Dallas, but for everyone affected by recent gun violence in the United States.
“We believe prayer unites people, black and white, rich and poor, male and female,” explained Hoffman.
Nanmarie Pichette attended the service with her children. She wanted to show them that there is still hope.
“We tell our children, you know, just face things day by day with grace and love and compassion and caring to people around you,” said Pichette.
Another resident, Breonna Peterson, appreciated the service’s effort to bring people together. “We tend to think that’ll never happen to me. And what we need to realize is Newport is no better or any different than Saint Paul or Baton Rouge or Dallas or Cleveland or New York City or Orlando. People are people everywhere you go and it can happen in anyone’s home town.”