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Faith Offers Chance for Healing, Reflection on Aug. 12 Anniversary

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Members of the prayer walk linked arms in front of UVA's Rotunda. Members of the prayer walk linked arms in front of UVA's Rotunda.
Members of different faiths gathered to heal from last year's violence. Members of different faiths gathered to heal from last year's violence.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

People in Charlottesville came together for prayer and reflection on Sunday across from the same site that saw violence exactly one year ago.

Pastors and people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds marched from the UVA Rotunda near Market Street Park to spread peace throughout the city of Charlottesville.

Through faith, these people were brought together to remember last year’s events and help each other heal.

“We want to see healing and transformation in our city and that’s what we’re all about,” said Jon Quesenberry of the Charlottesville Prayer Coalition.

The Charlottesville Prayer Coalition has held many events throughout the year, but on the one year anniversary of the violent day, they wanted to march and pray in solidarity.

“Charlottesville’s a sleepy little college town until last year, and now it’s become something other than what it truly is,” said national director for the American Transformation Company Travis Witt.

People gathered at the Rotunda at UVA where they were asked to pair up with someone who doesn’t look like them, as they began their journey to 1st Street.

The group concluded their march across the street from Market Street Park, where one year ago pastors said they witnessed violence.

“I think there’s a lot to talk about in terms of race relations,” Quesenberry said. “The discussion is not going to be solved in a minute.”

After the prayer walk, people gathered for a service at The Haven. 

“The hope is that we’re going to bring pastors and churches together not just for today, but what are we going to do next month, next year, and so we can continue to work about unity in this city,” Witt said.

Pastors said there is still a lot to be done, but they are hoping that one day, Charlottesville can be remembered for what it once was – a peaceful home for many.