Wednesday vigil at store offers glimmer of hope

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 1, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – Family, friends, neighbors and strangers all gathered in a united front in support of the Finckbeiners at a candlelight vigil held at the LaPlace Feed Store on a chilly Wednesday night.

More than 100 people gathered for the vigil, which was organized by Rising Star Baptist Church in LaPlace.

The Rev. Donald August of Rising Star said it was “really heart-breaking to see this tragedy happen to such good people.”

“Morality cannot be legislated, and respect cannot be legislated,” he added.

He said those things must be taught from a strong foundation of family and church.

Attendees of the vigil left balloons, cards and flowers at the door of the store.

Kerri Larche, a LaPlace resident in attendance at the vigil who did not personally know the Finckbeiners, said she visited the store often since she grew up in LaPlace.

Larche said its sad to see LaPlace plagued with so many crime problems and that she will continue to pray for the family and the community.

A prayer by August started the vigil, and the large crowd later sang “Amazing Grace” together.

Bishop Otis Kenner of Fresh Fate Worship Center in New Sarpy said the shooting on Tuesday was a “spiritually and morally tragic experience” and that there is “no greater message than the message of love and consideration of humanity and respect toward one another.”

The crowd was completely silent as the Finckbeiner’s son Steven spoke at the vigil.

Steven said the community did “a great honor to my father and mother” by organizing the event.

“Thank you for supporting us in the past and hopefully your continued support in the future,” Steven said.

He reopened the store on Thursday, with many residents stopping by to support the family.