In Torrance, mourners formed a circle, joining hands in solidarity to say a prayer for the young children in Newtown, Conn., whose lives were taken too soon. They lit candles for each child and said the victims' names aloud.
Then they broke into song, singing "Silent Night," a somber reminder that those 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School will not be with their families for Christmas.
For Krissa Tejada, Friday's massacre in Newtown was a frightening reminder of the ordeal she went through in 1999 as a survivor of the Columbine school shooting.
"Every time you hear of a shooting, it gets worse and worse, and I relive it every time. This time, it's far worse because of the children, and now that I have a son, I relived it from my parents' perspective," said Tejada.
The 31-year-old mother who has a young son of her own says her heart breaks for the victims' families and the Newtown community, which will need years to heal.
"I just have no words to describe the pain that I have for those families, and I do have comfort in knowing that those children are with Jesus. My comfort is Jesus and it gets me through my own experience at Columbine," said Tejada.
Monday night's vigil was just one of many across a nation in mourning. It was organized by Jessica Labray, a former student at Edison Elementary, who used social media to spread the word. More than 100 people showed up.
"I had a lot of friends commenting on the same thing on Facebook about how outraged we were and so I thought if a lot of people felt this way we could all come together in prayer," said Labray.
Jenny Brennan came here with her 9-month-old baby girl and a bouquet of flowers with the young victims' pictures attached.
"All the kids are so beautiful, and I just can't believe what happened," said Brennan.
It was an outpouring of support from one small community feeling for another 3,000 miles away.
To make a contribution to the Newtown Memorial Fund please visit: newtownmemorialfund.org