MIDLAND — A shaken West Texas community came together Saturday evening after a deadly accident earlier in the week between a train and a parade float.
Midland residents held a candlelight vigil to remember the war heroes who died and their devastated families.
Community leaders are calling it the most tragic event Midland has ever experienced, and hundreds came out to begin healing.
"She said that she might cry, so I just thought I should come," said young Ethan Magee. He and his mom, Lori, drove up on the accident scene just minutes after a train crashed into a large float carrying veterans and their loved ones.
"I think I told Ethan, 'Something bad just happened... something really bad.' We began praying while we drove," Lori Magee said.
They came out to say a prayer and to show respect for the fallen war heroes.
"To show our support for our city, for the fallen soldiers, for the families... for anyone affected by this tragedy," said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas).
Expressions of pain and tear-filled eyes were visible by candlelight, demonstrating how much this community has been affected by the tragedy.
"Grief is terrible, but when it is shared, it is softened," Conaway told the assembled mourners. "Tonight, we share grief among ourselves."