Families in Sutherland Springs prepare for first Christmas after deadly shooting

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Christmas tree memorializes Sutherland Spring shooting victims
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SOLEMN HOLIDAY: The 26 angel ornaments on the tree in Sutherland Springs have the names of each shooting victim.

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas -- Christmas is a time for family and traditions, but in Sutherland Springs, there will be 26 chairs empty this holiday.[br /][br /]The victims of the horrific mass shooting at the First Baptist Church are being honored with a Christmas tree featuring 26 angel ornaments.[br /][Ads /][br /]Terrie Smith told [b][url HREF="https://www.ksat.com/news/sutherland-springs/christmas-tree-in-sutherland-springs-to-honor-those-killed-in-texas-church-shooting" TARGET="new" REL="nofollow"]KSAT-TV[/url][/b] she coordinated the tree lighting as a means of healing.[br /][br /]"I felt that this was an opportunity to help all the families come together and the community," Smith said.[br /][br /]Residents gathered on Sunday to break bread over a Thanksgiving feast.[br /][br /]Smith said the 26 angel ornaments that shine on the tree will be given to their families after Christmas, each figure adorn with the name of a victim.[br /][Ads /][br /]Melissa Salinas said the victims' families have to have faith during this very emotional time.[br /][br /]"We know that they had faith in God and we do too, and if we have that then there's nothing to worry about," Salinas said.[br /][br /][b][url HREF="http://abc13.com/timeline-of-church-shooting-in-sutherland-springs/2607222/" TARGET="" REL=""]Timeline of church shooting in Sutherland Springs[/url][/b][br /][media ID="2607080" /][br /][br /][b][url HREF="http://abc13.com/society/man-walks-with-200-lb-cross-to-honor-shooting-victims/2636621/" TARGET="" REL=""]New Braunfels man walks with cross in memory of church shooting victims[/url][/b][br /][media ID="2636570" /][br /][br /][b][url HREF="http://abc13.com/community-events/texas-church-shooting-victims-honored-funeral-held/2635369/" TARGET="" REL=""]Texas church shooting victims honored, funeral held[/url][/b][br /][media ID="2635350[br /][br /]" /][url HREF="https://abc13.formstack.com/forms/report_a_typo" TARGET="new" REL=""][b]Report a typo to the ABC13 staff[/b][/url]