POWELL, Tenn. (WATE) — The community of Uvalde, Texas is still grieving after a mass school shooting last week, and some East Tennessee residents are feeling for the families that lost loved ones. A vigil was held in Powell to honor and remember the lives lost. 

Those who gathered at Powell Presbyterian Church Saturday morning are feeling the heartbreak of the 21 families who lost a loved one in Uvalde Texas. Especially, Kathryn Pennington who organized the event. She said she has an almost 9-year-old son, so this shooting was hard to hear about.

“I woke up on Wednesday morning and it felt like a ton of bricks, and the entire time I was taking my shower and getting ready to go to the gym, I was just crying, and I was like there’s got to be something, I’m supposed to do something,” she said.

There were 19 children and two teachers who lost their lives after a gunman opened fire in Robb Elementary School last week.

“I can’t imagine the pain that those mothers are in, those fathers, and the brothers and the sisters and the families,” Pennington said.

Even though those in attendance are hundreds of miles away from Uvalde, they hope their empathy is felt and their message is clear.

“This might be small, but I just wanted to make as big a difference as I could in our community, and I wanted them (Uvalde) to know that we are here for them,” Pennington said.

The vigil provided a space to grieve, but Pennington said she hopes it also serves as a call for action to keep children and teachers safe.

“You need to communicate, you need to let your voice be heard in an appropriate way, and we need to pray for our teachers, and our principals and our children, every day, every day,” she said.

Those at the vigil were also sent home with flower seeds to plant in remembrance of the victims.