Thousands show Dayton is strong at benefit concert

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DAYTON (WCMH) — Thousands of people and several celebrities came together in Dayton after a mass shooting killed nine people.

Sunday marks three weeks since the shooting in Dayton, and a large benefit concert called Gem City Shine aims to honor those victims.

Many in attendance said they are ready to let loose after such a horrible month, saying if anything good can come from the tragedy, it’s that the community is closer than ever.

“When we started singing the Fugees song, I felt unity,” said Jenny Guarino. “Cause this place, our heart got ripped out.”

Some of the attendees said they waited a long time to get into the event, but that it was OK — they made some new friends.

The concert, organized by comedian Dave Chappelle and including Stevie Wonder, Chance the Rapper, Jon Stewart, and more, came as somewhat of a surprise for Dayton residents.

“Everybody just seems to show each other more love, more kindness, being more considerate of one another,” said Karla Edmondson.

She remembers the night the shooting happened.

“Oh my goodness, I couldn’t believe that,” Edmondson said. “It was like I felt the hurt in my heart.”

That hurt is still felt by many three weeks later.

Edmondson’s husband Ronnie realizes the smile will soon turn back into tears when the audience clears.

“We going to get through this with God,” Ronnie Edmondson said. “We going to get through this.”

Others remained optimistic.

“It brings people together and kind of, especially with all the stuff going on, all the shootings that’s been happening,” said Matthew Seljan. “It brings people together and shows that it doesn’t have to affect us in the way people want it to affect us.”

“I’m glad we have people that are from the area that are here to pull us together and celebrate our wholeness and be Dayton strong,” said Stacy Eddy.

Some attendees said this is just the beginning. They said they want to continue to come together and not just when something tragic happens.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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