Garden City vigil supports Somali community

Garden City residents walk in support of their Somali neighbors
Garden City residents walk in support of their Somali neighbors

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – On Saturday, the Garden City community came together to show their support to those who were the target of that terror plan.

More than 150 people came out to show their support to the local refugee community.

“This wasn’t an attack on the Somalians,” said John Doll, who represents Garden City in the state legislature. “This was an attack on Garden City. Somalians are Garden Citians. We are all one.”

A thwarted terrorist attack against the local Somali refugee community has the town united.

“I think it says more about who we really are rather than the impression that perhaps the nation and the world has when the news came out about the Kansas Plot last week,” said Denise Pass, the pastor of Garden City’s Presbyterian church, “and that this is really a demonstration of who we are.”

It’s been more than a week since news of the Kansas Plot broke. Pastor Pass was one of the organizers of a candle lit walk down Mary Street to the apartment complex

“It was a big impact just on that community alone, the Somalian community, and it was scary,” said Mia Michalek, one of the 150 supporters in attendance. “I was scared for them, but I was also scared for everybody in Garden City.”

Garden City police escorted the supporters to the apartment complex that was targeted, where they stood in support of their Muslim neighbors during their evening prayers.

“We see they’re supporting with the candles, and some boards, and really we appreciate that,” said Abdul Kadir Mohamed, one of the residents of the apartment complex. “Before, we had fear, but no fear now, because they show us how they help us.”

Halima Farah is another resident of the complex who was moved by the demonstration.

“I knew in Garden City, the community here, they’re very supportive,” she said. “We have a strong community, so it’s beautiful.”

Many in Garden City pride themselves on the rich cultural diversity here. Some residents who were not targeted in the plot say they want to ensure more cross cultural outreach.