Amid seasonally cold weather, about 70 people of different faiths gathered at a Center City church on the eve of the six-month anniversary of the June 5 Market Street building collapse to remember the six people who died and the 14 injured when a four-story wall fell onto a Salvation Army thrift shop.
Sarah Clark Stuart, who lives near the site where a building was being demolished, came up with the idea for the interfaith service. She said it was necessary to "provide a moment for family and members of the public to remember victims of the tragedy."
The evening began at First Presbyterian Church, 21st and Walnut Streets, with five clergy of different faiths talking about those who died and were hurt.
The Rev. Mark Tyler of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church said, "We can hope that their lives were not lost in vain. They lost their lives in a place known for doing good."
The Rev. Michael Giansiracusa of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Ardmore conveyed Philadelphia City Treasurer Nancy Winkler's remembrance of daughter Anne Bryan, who was shopping when the roof collapsed.
"Anne the spiritual. Anne the lover of nature. Anne the perfectionist. Anne the fierce. Anne the wise," Winkler had told the priest about her 24-year-old daughter, a Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts student.
Anne's brother, Chris Bryan, 26, said it felt strange to be at a memorial for his little sister.
"For me, it's a daily thing that she's not here, but I'm grateful people are remembering Anne," he said.
After an hour, the group left the church, with many carrying candles, and walked to the barren spot at 22d Street and Market, where with prayer and song they honored the victims.