Interfaith service held for victims of Connecticut school shooting on eve of 1-week anniversary

Religous and school leader call for changes

BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Religious leaders gathered for an interfaith prayer service to pay tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary who were of different denominations.

Several different religious groups gathered at Groves High School in Beverly Hills for the event.

"This really reflects America. We're a country of different faiths, different ethnicities and races.  Interfaith and activities like this is where I think most of the healing will take place," said Dr. Muzammil Ahmed with the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC).

The MMC led the way in organizing the prayer services and helped bring everyone together.

"People really wanted to reach out and look for solace amongst for a higher authority and this is a great way to bring people together to remember an event like this," said Dr. Ahmed.

People prayed for the families who had to attend funerals this week, especially for the families of those 20 children who were just 6 and 7 years old.

"These caskets have really been too small.  It's very troubling. I'm speechless.  There's really nothing to say when you see babies being buried," said Rabbi Jason Miller with Kosher Michigan.

A school official who spoke during the services asked for more changes in school security.

"We need to gather and reexamine what we are doing as a school district and to make recommended changes to ensure that our kids are that much safer," said Dr. Daniel Nerad, Birmingham Schools Superintendent.  He said the district has good security measures in place but they need better ones. Dr. Nerad said that he has been reviewing their districts policies and after the first of the year they will be working with law enforcement to present a new security plan to the schools.

Religious leaders also asked for people to change the way they treat others in society.

"People like this that commit such actions, extending their hands and harming other individuals are people that are not commonly accepted in their communities," said Imam Mohammad Almasmari, MMCC Imams' Council & Unity Center Mosque.

People then went outside to light candles and say prayers for those six adults and 20 children who will not be going home for the holidays.

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