CROWLEY, La. (KLFY) – Acadiana citizens held a candlelight vigil Thursday evening to pray for the grieving community of Uvalde, Texas.

Police officers, community leaders, and elementary students met at the Acadia Parish Courthouse to pray. “I think it’s important that we bring people together and really show our love for humanity. When something happens, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen in our community. If it happens in our state or our country, it affects us all,” Chad Monseaux, the organizer of the vigil, said.

Uvalde, Texas, a town only about 500 miles away from Acadiana, is on the forefront of everyone’s minds. Dozens of people from Acadia Parish prayed for that community. “It really hits home when something like this happens, and I just can’t image the pain and the emptiness that those families are going through right now in Texas,” Monseaux added.

Even elementary students from Crowley, like 12-year-old Ashton Francis and his younger cousin, came out to honor the students who were killed, not much younger than them. “I don’t understand why he killed the little children,” 12-year-old Ashton said. “I came here to pray for the children my age who died during the shooting,” his 11-year-old cousin added.

Holding candles and sending prayers to the Uvalde community, Acadiana residents say they hope their small service can impact those hurting from this tragedy.

“Hopefully some of those people in Texas and New York and the other states that have gone through this tragedy will see that we are here with them. We don’t know their pain, but we’re here with them,” Monseaux told News Ten.