DENVER — A large crowd gathered outside Coors Field Saturday night to remember the victims of an Atlanta area shooting spree, at three separate massage spas.
Of the eight people killed, six were Asian-American.
“I’m here to honor the victims who have fallen, no matter their gender, no matter their occupation,” said Pasha Eve, one of the vigil’s co-organizers. “It’s hit very close to home for me, because I know what that fear is like to be assaulted and hurt, and not be able to do much about it.”
Two young girls, who attended the rally with their parents, said it was important to be there, “to realize that we’re all people, no matter what heritage we’re from.”
One of them began shedding tears while thinking about the victims.
“It breaks my heart to see a 10 year old to go through this,” said the girl’s mother. “They hear the news on TV, or on the radio, talking about 8 people, (most of them Asian-Americans) that got killed.”
The candle light vigil was held across the street from a plaque memorializing the “Chinatown Riot of 1880,” in an area known back then as “Hop Alley.”
An illustration, provided by History Colorado, shows the October 31, 1880 anti-Chinese riot, which writer Noah Allyn said, began as a bar room brawl and ended with the mob attacking every Chinese person and business.
There was a moment of silence as the Atlanta victims’ names were read aloud.
Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Suncha Kim, 69, Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Xiaojie Tan, 49.
“I’m here with a single message,” one participant said. “You cannot win if you are not fighting all forms of oppression.”
Another speaker said racism is learned and can be unlearned.
She said it wasn’t a black problem, or a brown problem, but an American problem, and that we have to work together to become one.