Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy, victims from all walks of life

From children to the elderly and even a priest, victims from all walks of life were impacted by the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy Sunday, Nov. 21. 

In the wake of what happened in Waukesha on Sunday evening, churches and schools have asked people to open their hearts and pray for affected families. Business owners have opened their doors to serve as a place of refuge, with community members leaning on each other.

"There's sadness within Waukesha," said Norman Bruce. "People have been hurt. People have been, some of them become casualties."

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"It was a stampede and people wanting to come in," said Bruce. "They were pushing. I was at the door and able to say, ‘You’re able to come in. You have to come in one by one. Go to the back side,’ so that no one got hurt."

Outside, 48 people were injured, among them, a Catholic priest, multiple parishioners and students from the Waukesha Catholic school system.

"When confronted with the shock and grief of what was encountered by our brothers and sisters in Waukesha it's important for us to turn to faith which offers us God's loving presence and consolation," said Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

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Archbishop Listecki has called on members of all faiths to come together as a community to find hope and healing.

"We know families are suffering right now," said a Catholic Memorial official.

Catholic Memorial High School held a special mass Monday afternoon, inviting the community to pray together.

"Ask God for the healing for all of those who have been injured," said a Catholic Memorial official. "Obviously, our students, it was a very traumatic experience for all of us."

Leaning on each other for support as a catastrophic act changed lives forever.  

"Waukesha now is feeling kind of broken," said Bruce. "One thing I really feel good about is all people stepped right in and said, ‘I’m going to help people who need help,’" said Bruce.

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An interfaith prayer vigil following Sunday’s tragedy during the annual Waukesha Christmas Parade will be held at 5 p.m. Monday at Cutler Park.