GREENFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – A strong show of support for the Navy corpsman from South Deerfield who was killed nearly two weeks ago in Virginia.
Meaghan Burns was just twenty-three years old.
She was killed two Saturdays ago when a fellow corpsman opened fire on her and another sailor.
Earlier tonight in Greenfield at the vigil, hundreds showed up all in a show of support for Meaghan.
Person after person entering the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew on Wednesday night, their hearts heavy from a recent loss.
“Every life is a mountain. Every life is a universe. Every life is important,” Doug Potoksky tells us.
Meaghan Burns was just twenty-three years old when suspected gunman Donavan Moora opened fire on her and fellow corpsman Shianne Soles two Saturdays ago.
Burns and Soles died at the scene.
Nearly two weeks later, the loss of this South Deerfield native still feels fresh for Doug Potoksky.
“It’s just a sad moment. It’s a wasted life, a beautiful life that was taken away too soon,” continued Potoksky.
Potoksky tells Western Mass News, even though he didn’t know Meaghan Burns, he felt compelled to be there for the vigil, as he has for other tragic events.
“This photo, I went out and found a frame for it. It’s called ‘American Heart’. I took it in New York after 9/11. I took this photo on Eighth Avenue at the fire station that lost everything on 9/11. If I see the family, I’d like to give it to the family,” stated Potoksky.
Bishop Doug Fisher did know Meaghan, confirming her at the church about five years ago.
“Right after that, she went into the Navy. She served loyally and faithfully there, just a tragic loss for so many,” says Bishop Fisher.
He adds, beyond honoring her, a focus of Wednesday’s service was gun violence prevention.
“The family asked me to speak about gun violence. Meaghan has fallen victim to this awful disease,” said Bishop Fisher.
“Meaghan, if you can hear us, our hearts go out to you,” added Potoksky.
We’re told by those at the church the building was packed to capacity, a very strong showing.
As of tonight, no future services or vigils have been scheduled to honor Meaghan Burns.
We will keep you posted on-air and online if that changes.